Everybody likes to treat themselves every once in a while. When it comes to new car sales, however, an impulse buy can likely leave you financially stranded. In fact, the best used cars will often get you the exact same results as new ones — they’ll both get you where you need to go. The difference, of course, is a that a new car is an investment, so follow these five tips to make it a smart one.
Ask yourself the important questions.
Is this car a smart investment right now, and will I be able to afford it? How much do I care about aesthetics like colors, designs and interior dashboard goodies? How much do I care about safety standards and performance aspects like gas mileage? Knowing the answers to these will give you a solid foundation as to whether or not you should continue the process of new car sales.
Research prices before ever setting foot on the lot.
If you don’t know anything to compare the dealer’s price to, you could easily pay too much and not know it. Some sellers will offer car dealership specials, but remember that the cheapest new car isn’t always the best. Use resources like Consumer Reports and other consumer advocacy sites to find a list of comparable prices for the car you’re looking for in the make and model you want.
Take it for a test drive.
Everybody knows this, but hopping behind the wheel of a new ride is one of the most exciting and gratifying experiences you can have during the process. It’s important to get a feel for your potential new car, but it’s also a great opportunity to talk over some major details of the deal with your sales rep, too. New car sales should be fun, so treat yourself to multiple rides if you’re feeling like expanding your horizons. After all, you’re a paying customer.
Consider multiple financing options.
Though you might be tempted to opt for the dealer’s pricing plan because you’re eager to wrap up the paperwork, take some time to ensure you’re getting the best financing options for you. Research some different plans, including some from banks and credit unions, and make sure they’re in line with what you’ll actually be able to afford. Remember, you’re going to be paying off this car for years. It’s just a matter of figuring out how many.
Double- and triple-check everything.
The sales rep’s job is to land as many new car sales as possible and get you to sign on the dotted line. Your job, as the buyer, is to ensure you’re getting a good deal. Read over your contract before you sign, especially reviewing what the sale price is, what you’re forking over for a down payment and the total cost and loans of the deal. If it all looks good, put your John Hancock on the line and drive away in your brand new ride!
When it comes to new car sales, you can’t walk into a dealership empty-handed. Know what you want and know how to get it. Your future self, cruising along an open road in a newly purchased dream car, will thank you. Read more like this.