Buying a new car is always a big step, and it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign any documents or strike up a deal. Things to consider include cost, the dealer’s reputation, your personal finances, vehicle safety and standards, as well as special features. Here are some of the top considerations new car buyers make before leaving the lot.
Get the Most for Your Buck
Money makes the world go ‘round, so it only makes sense that it should be among the first factors you consider when buying a new car. Before you agree to sticker price, it’s a good idea to determine the manufacture price for the car in the Blue Book. Many car sites also provide individual buying guides which offer price evaluations, and outline the dealer cost, so that you can see exactly how much more you’re paying for sticker price. No dealership is going to sell a car at the base cost, but most will haggle with you, and you’ll be more prepared if you come in knowing the bottom line.
Something else to keep in mind when pinching pennies is rebate opportunities. For this, you can check the manufacturer’s website, as well as individual dealer sites. Some dealers will post rebate opportunities for certain models, which could sway your opinion on which vehicle to choose. There’s nothing quite like getting money back, especially when it’s on a big purchase.
Finally, don’t settle for the basics. When you’re buying a brand-new car off the lot, be prepared to get a little bit greedy. Most dealerships are willing to throw in a few extras to make the sale. For some buyers, this could mean extra car mats, a free undercoat, an extra key fob, or even winter tires. Haggling requires an extrovert attitude, so don’t let you insecurities get the better of you when you’re ready to buy; set the expectations with your salesman, and let them do a little extra work for the sale, it will be worth it n the end.
Personal Finances and Big Banks
Nobody goes into a dealership for a brand-new vehicle with cash in hand; most will finance either in house, or through their own financial agent. While many dealerships offer competitive interest rates, it’s a good idea to check with your own financial institution, and even shop around before settling. If you suggest going through your own institution, your dealer may even sweeten the pot with a better offer if you choose in house financing.
Choosing the Best Car for You
Sure, that big shiny convertible would look great in your garage, but does it give you everything you need in a new vehicle? Before stepping onto a lot, where sales signs and brand names will be calling out to you, look at your personal needs and determine the style of car which would best suit your life. For example, if you’ve got children, a family sedan, minivan, or even 7 seater SUV would work well. If you camp a lot, and enjoy the great outdoors, a pickup would be most convenient.
By having a clear-cut idea of what you want before you set foot on the lot, you’ll be more likely to look at things with an open mind, and not choose the first car that jumps out at you. Having an idea of what you’re looking for also helps your dealer to narrow down the choices, and offer the best price and special offers on that style of vehicle.
Choosing a Dealer
So, you know what you’re looking for, but where do you look? Choosing the right dealer is almost as important as choosing the right vehicle. Before you walk onto a lot, do a search for local dealerships online, read the reviews, and see if there are any deals or discounts currently offered to new customers. Be ready to shop around for the best price and the best customer service.
Once you have a few dealerships in mind, phone each business and set up an appointment with the sales manager. A face to face meeting is more informative than a phone conversation, and it shows that you mean business. This allows you to get a feeling for the company, and its employees before you make a deal. When you purchase a new vehicle, you will be using that dealerships resources during the warranty period, so you want to be sure you’re working with a winner.