Buying a new car can be a daunting task. How do you make sure you know what type of car is best for you? How do you know if you’re getting a good deal? What types of things should you be looking for as you car shop? What questions should you be asking once you’ve found a suitable car?
We have a few things that you can consider today before beginning your search that can make things a little easier.
- Buy, Sell, or Trade? Will you be buying a car straight up? Will you be trading in your current vehicle? Selling your current vehicle elsewhere and then using that money toward a new purchase? Those things will all factor into buying a new car. Getting an estimate of how much you can sell or trade your current vehicle for will be helpful.
- How Much Down? The down payment can affect your monthly payments and length of the payment plan. Many places have “zero down” incentives, which is something to consider if you don’t want (or can’t) put any money down.
- Monthly Payment. Going in with a rough estimate of how much you are willing to pay each month for your loan, and start with a lower number so you can go up if you want, but so salesmen can give you the right price range.
- Type of Car. Car shopping goes best if you know the general type of car you want. Shopping for a 2 door coupe is much different than considering a minivan. Do you need 3 rows of seats? Cargo room? Those types of cars can help narrow your search.
- Fuel Efficiency. How important is fuel efficiency to you? Within each range and style of vehicle there will be options that are more fuel efficient than others, so that can help you narrow your search or decide between a dealbreaker. Remember that fuel efficient cars can save you in the long run on gas and less wear-and-tear.
- Amenities. What amenities or features are vital for you? If you have kids maybe you need a DVD player. Perhaps a keyless entry is helpful because you like to keep your keys hidden at the bottom of your bag or purse. Determine what you’re willing to live without, and how much you’d pay for some amenities.
- Maintenance. Older cars will probably require more maintenance than newer cars, but newer cars will cost more. It’s up to you to decide if maintenance is worth it, or if you don’t mind paying more for a brand new vehicle.
Answering these questions before you step foot on a car lot can make a big difference for those who struggle with indecision or don’t want to be pressured by a pushy salesman. Start considering your options now, and begin your car hunt as an informed driver.