The task of buying a new car can be overwhelming for any new potential owner. Here are some tips to make your car buying experience a successful one. First, know what you want. It is important to figure out what kind of car best suits your needs. Do you need something to take the kids to school? Maybe the flashy red convertible isn’t the most practical. Live in the city and need something for your daily commute? Then perhaps the four-wheel pickup truck might be a bit cumbersome for the office parking lot. Make sure you consider all aspects of your lifestyle (salary, space, and living conditions) in order to make the right choice for you! Next, do your homework! Now that you know what you are generally looking for you can begin narrowing your options down to a specific car, model, and make. With the easy accessibility of the Internet, there are many sites such as “Edmunds.com” with New Buyers Guides that allow you to choose a car, check out prices and features even before you step on the lot! You can also send emails to different dealerships or even visit in person to get an idea of the price. Sometimes, dealers will have incentives like cash rebates and low interest financing to draw in new buyers. Take advantage of these opportunities! The more dealers you check out, the better your chances of finding an amazing deal!
Once you’ve found dealerships with a reasonable deal on the car you want to buy, it’s time to schedule an appointment. The salesman will probably tell you a lot about the car and what makes it a great purchase. He will also throw in a lot of car lingo that you may be confused by such as “annual percentage rate” (APR) and “amount financing.” It’s a good idea at this point to ask a lot of questions. Don’t seem like you’re in a rush to buy and never feel pressured into making the final purchase until you are ready. Give the car a test run and get a feel for how it drives. Does it feel comfortable? If you can, avoid buying the car on the same day, take some time to think about it. If you’ve test driven a few cars, make mental notes on which car overall made the best impression on you. Finally, you are ready to negotiate a deal on the car you wish to buy. Make sure you walk on the lot with a fair price in mind for the car you want. The dealer will usually make an offer first and the negotiations will continue from there. A good rule of thumb is to start negotiating not on the sticker price but how much the dealer paid for the car. When you reach a price you are comfortable with, congratulations! There is a stack of paperwork to complete! Once you sign the contract, you are legally bound to what is written on those pages! Read through the information carefully. Double check that all the numbers and charges on the sheet are correct and no hidden fees have been added. This is, again, a good time to ask questions if you don’t understand something that has been written. After the dealer fills the tank of your brand new car, you are ready to drive it off the lot as its proud owner!