Buying a new car is an exciting time, but also a time when you want to make proper decisions. Here are five common car buying mistakes to avoid so your car buying experience is seamless and enjoyable.
Not Doing Enough Research
There are so many makes and models of cars, but not all suit you and your lifestyle. It’s an emotional experience and salespeople will try to upsell you if you walk in with buying fever.
Take the time to jot down your “must-haves” and “would like to haves.” Then start to look at makes, models and price. Check the vehicle’s safety ratings, pricing information, reliability history and reviews.
Most people find they need to juggle their wants to find the perfect mix of value, style and function. Once you have some serious contenders, it’s time to get your financing in place.
Relying Entirely On The Dealership For Financing
Don’t accept whatever the dealership throws at you for financing options. Get pre-approval through a local bank or credit union before you head into the dealership so that you’ll precisely what you can afford, and find a good rate and comfortable terms.
All too often, salespeople will try to sell you a car based on the monthly payments. This gives you a distorted view of what you’ll actually pay. A lower monthly payment over a long term means you pay more in interest, which drives up the overall cost of the vehicle.
Besides, if you use the dealership finance office they’ll try to sell you paint protection, warranties, and whatever else they can think of to bump up their profits. With financing already in place, you can avoid some of these sales tactics.
Not Considering Used Vehicles
Even if the smell of a new car entices you, ignoring the savings of a used car isn’t wise. Pre-owned vehicles offer many benefits.
Most new cars lose about 15% of their value the moment you drive it off the lot. Within four years, the value can drop to about half. Buying a three or four year old car means that you’ll still get years of dependability without losing money on the quick depreciation. In addition, used cars often cost less to insure.
Failing to Negotiate
Absolutely everything is negotiable, so even if the salesperson offers you a price below sticker value, don’t jump on it. Dealers allow for wiggle room and even if you can’t get the price down any further, you may get them to throw in some of the extras you would like such as an alarm system or premium floor mats.
You’ll probably look at many cars and dealers will make many offers. If the dealership won’t give you what you want, remind them that you can always take your business to someone else. Don’t be afraid to walk away. It’s a very competitive business.
If you want to trade in your existing vehicle, decide on a price for the new one before you even get into how much they’ll give you for the old one.
Buying Insurance through a Dealership
Many dealerships offer insurance, but you should never feel pressured into buying it through them. If you want to buy a car on the weekend or a holiday, you can still use your preferred independent agent, even if it’s outside of their regular business hours, by taking a few simple measures.
If you’ve found a car and you only have time on the weekend to close the deal, call your agent beforehand and discuss adding the vehicle to your existing Rhode Island auto insurance policy. They can do the paperwork and set the start date for the day that you plan on taking possession of the vehicle.
Often times, when you trade in a vehicle and you’re the policyholder, your insurance company automatically offers the same level of coverage for the newly acquired vehicle for a few days. If you had collision and comprehensive on your old vehicle, you’ll have collision and comprehensive on the new one. However, this doesn’t mean you can just forget about insurance. Contact your agent first thing Monday morning to make sure that you get your new vehicle added to the policy.
Of course, exceptions exist so check with your agent. Don’t assume that you have coverage, because every policy differs.
These five common buying mistakes are easily avoided. Do your homework and consider all your options. With pre-approval and a quick call to your insurance agent, you can buy and drive the car you choose worry-free.