Any large purchase can be a stressful experience, especially a one as time sensitive as a new car. Being stuck without a vehicle can put added worry on you, your family, and friends. Learn about the most common car-buying mistakes and see what you can do to avoid them.
1. Not Doing Your Research
Even if you know what kind of car you want, you should still do your research. Before going to the dealership, educate yourself on the price range, ratings, and reviews for any vehicle you want. Organize your list by price, safety ratings, or mileage if you’re considering a used car.
2. Rushing The Process
Car buying may not be the most fun thing to do, but rushing through the process isn’t a great strategy either. Take your time to think about any vehicles and decisions, and whatever you do, don’t let a dealer pressure you into anything you’ll regret later. There will always be other cars, so there’s no need to make a snap decision.
3. Forgetting The Test Drive
Though this step seems small, it’s important to make sure you are both comfortable behind the wheel and the vehicle fits your needs. It’s recommended that a first-time buyer tests out at least seven different vehicles, while a current owner should try at least four.
4. No Vehicle Report
Before purchasing a used car, you need to run a background check to make sure it hasn’t been in any accidents or incurred any other major damage. There’s also the risk that the odometer was manipulated, meaning you end up purchasing a vehicle with many more miles than you thought. Run a CarFax on the vehicle before signing any paperwork.
5. Not Budgeting
While it’s great idea to walk into a dealership with a budget, focusing only on the monthly payment could cause you to spend more. A salesperson may suggest lengthening the term of your loan so your monthly payment is lower. However, the interest rate on a longer loan may cost you hundreds of extra dollars in the end.