Shopping for your next car can be a difficult and tiring process. This is a simple breakdown of buying process. Follow these 10 steps and find the right car for you.
1. What kind of car do you need?
Consider what you will be using the car for. Do you need it for commuting? Do you need to drive a large family? Will you drive it often? Think about if you want manual or automatic transmission. What are some safety features that you want?
2. How much are you willing to pay?
Cars are incredibly expensive. You should be able to afford the monthly payments. Usually, a good rule of thumb is that the monthly car payments should not be more than 20% of your monthly salary. You can estimate your monthly payment based on purchase price, down payment, interest rate, and loan. Know how much you can pay before talking to a car salesperson. This will also help you negotiate.
3. Lease or Buy?
There are advantages to either option. Leases usually cost less. With a lease, you will only drive the car for a couple years. Buying a car makes more financial sense in the long run. You have more flexibility with the vehicle.
4. Consider different vehicles
If you have a specific vehicle in mind, consider similar vehicles. You may find that you may actually like the specs on another car more.
5. What are the costs of ownerships?
A car may be cheaper than another option, but the cheaper can cost more to own. Insurance costs more for certain vehicles. Some vehicles also have higher maintenance and fuel costs. Vehicles also depreciate in value at different rates. Consider all these costs before buying the vehicle.
This is a very important step. Once you narrow down your car choices, you should research the safety of the vehicle. Look for the crash test ratings, safety ratings, and related recalls. All of this information can be easily accessed on the Internet. This valuable information will help you find a safe and reliable car.
After researching the safety of the vehicle, find local dealerships in your area. Contact the dealerships about pricing. You may be able to negotiate lower prices out of these dealerships.
7. Schedule Test drive
It is a good strategy to make a test drive appointment ahead of time. This will give you enough time to prepare a list of questions about the car. You can also schedule different test drives to help you compare vehicles.
8. Take full advantage of the test drive
Drive on surface streets and freeways. Consider all the things you do daily in a car. Do you have to drive up hills a lot, and can this car handle hills? Focus on evaluating the car. The salesperson will be trying to pitch you the car. Ignore the salesperson and focus on the vehicle.
9. After the test drive
Do not be coerced into buying the vehicle after the test drive. Leave the car dealership after the test drive. Go test drive another car. This will help you compare vehicles. Do not rush the buying process.
10. Decision time
Now you need to narrow your choices down to one car. This is the most difficult step, but the most important one.