If you want to buy a new car, the first step should be to figure out what type of a car you want and how much you can afford to spend on it. Then, you need to start shopping around and negotiating with dealerships until you find the best price possible. To help guide you in this endeavor, here are 5 tips to get the best car when buying one from a dealership.
1) Know your options
When you’re ready to buy a car, make sure you have considered all of your options before diving in. Don’t just go and look at whatever car dealership is closest to you; shop around and know what’s out there. Of course, don’t spend hours doing research—but do get an idea of what is available.
Once you have your choices narrowed down (say, three cars), ask friends or family members for advice on what they would choose if they were buying a new car today. The point here is to gather information so that when it comes time to buy, you will be making an informed decision—instead of simply picking one off the lot because it was convenient or looked cool.
2) Set realistic expectations
Buying a best car can be a huge investment and a confusing process. If you know what you want, set realistic expectations. For example, if your dream car is out of reach at first, consider something with similar features but that’s more affordable—or make it a goal to save up for your ultimate vehicle over time.
And if you have credit card debt or other high-interest debt, work on paying that off before making any big purchases like cars. Ideally, you should have enough in emergency savings (which should equal three to six months of living expenses) so that purchasing a new car doesn’t create extra financial stress. It’s important to factor in all your debt as well as insurance costs when setting aside money for buying a new vehicle.
3) Find out what you really want
Sure, you’re going to be buying a new car and you know what model and make that car is. But, do you really have an idea of what kind of color? What kind of amenities are on your want list? Are there performance aspects that could make your driving experience more enjoyable? Take some time to decide what are must-haves versus wants when it comes to purchasing a vehicle.
The same goes for warranties and extended service packages. While these can be valuable, keep in mind how long you plan to keep the car. If you’re planning on trading up every two years or so, taking advantage of warranty coverage makes little sense (and can be cost prohibitive). In addition to knowing what type of vehicle fits your lifestyle needs best, think about how often you plan to drive each year—do you want something fuel efficient or something larger with lots of cargo space?
4) Shop smart before buying a car
It’s a good idea to do your research before buying a car. This way, you know what type of car fits your needs and how much you should be paying for it. You can usually find out a lot of information about your desired vehicle by visiting manufacturer websites or shopping around at car dealerships. Make sure you talk with salespeople, get quotes and don’t make any impulsive decisions. Always take your time when looking into cars – no one wants to rush an important purchase!
The biggest mistake people make when buying a new car is paying too much for it.
5) Don’t fall in love with your first choice
Many people fall in love with their first choice, only to realize later that they could have gotten a much better deal by shopping around. Don’t get attached right away; you can always go back and try again. The more time you spend researching makes it easier to find out if there are any local sales on specific models, too—giving you one more way to save money on your new car price.
The deal isn’t really done until it’s signed: If there is one thing we learned from watching every season of The Apprentice , it’s that every deal doesn’t end when we think it does.