Purchasing a car can be challenging and stressful. Each time we go to purchase a car, we take a few steps to ensure that we are prepared for the time at the dealership. You will find many different resources regarding what you should look for when shopping for a new car. Many of these resources will have competing information and can leave you more confused than when you first started. Purchasing a car doesn’t have to complicated and stressful. The more you know about the process, the better off you will be. This list provides you with a great breakdown of how to get the most out of your money.
So, I am here to help give you a breakdown of some of my best tips to use when shopping for a new car.
6 Tips for Buying a Car
- Do Your Research — don’t walk into a car dealership without first doing your research. You’ll want to look into what things are important to you and your family. When we were purchasing our Honda Pilot, we looked for good safety ratings, spacious interior, all wheel drive, and gas mileage. We researched online and asked friends and family about cars. Another way to research is by going to Cars.com. This is a great site to check out when it comes to researching and finding the car that’s right for you.
- Set a Budget — make sure you set a budget for your car purchase including the down payment and the monthly payment that you can afford. Also, remember that car insurance is above and beyond that monthly payment so ensure you’re including that in the cost of the car.
- Get Pre-Approved — walking into a car dealership with financing already in place is a great way to ensure that there is no haggle. Sometimes, though, the dealerships can offer a great financing offer but ensure that you do your research here too.
- Test Drive — never buy a car without test driving it! You’ll want to ensure that you feel “right” driving it and that you can see all of the features and handling of the car. Both my husband and I test drove the Pilot before we bought it as we would both be driving it when we got it home.
- Set Reasonable Expectations — do not go in thinking that you will walk out with a car. Ensure that your expectations of the experience fit your needs for your family. Don’t settle just to get a new car. Rushing a car purchase will leave you overpaying and under-satisfied.
- Explore both New and Used Cars — a new car can be either new to you or brand new. Don’t give up on used cars as sometimes they’re just what you need at that time. However, explore your options as part of your research in step 1.