The 5 Biggest Blunders When Shopping For A New Car

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Buying a new car should be an exciting and happy process. But all too often, we see people who are stressed out or even ill-prepared for the details.

Next time you are looking for your new ride, don’t rush into it. Be prepared and know what not to do.

Car-Buying Mistakes to Avoid

1.  Skipping the Research –  To some, this seems like common knowledge, but research may be the most important place to start. You don’t have to buy the first car you see, and it is definitely worth it to look around at different dealerships for better deals. This step also includes researching the value of your trade-in if you have one and the market value for the vehicle you are about to purchase. Some great resources are TrueCar and NADAguides.com.

2.  Financing Through the Dealer – You do not—I repeat, DO NOT—have to go with dealership financing. Checking with your financial institution first could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars through the life of the loan. Having a pre-approval in hand before going to the dealer takes a lot of the power away from them and puts it into your hands. Plus, your financial institution can help work through numbers so you know how much you can actually afford to spend for a new vehicle as well as help with any credit issues beforehand to ensure you are getting the best rate and deal.

3.  Neglecting to Calculate the Total Cost – So you have found your dream car in your price range and are ready to buy. Before you sign, make sure you take a look at all the costs added into the sale. Tax, warranty, GAP, and more can add significant costs to your purchase. Plus, you still need to factor in insurance every year. You can do a quick check on most of these with your financial institution, which can save hundreds since they usually offer the same products as the dealerships but at a significantly lower price.  Plus, calling your insurance company to see how a new vehicle will affect your premium is never a bad. Also, check the fine print on the “deal.” If it seems too good to be true up front, it usually is. Sure 0% financing sounds great, but there are usually non-negotiable stipulations in order to get that deal that may not fit your needs.

4.  Not Test-Driving – This is as simple as it sounds. Take the car for a solid test-drive to ensure that it is everything you want it to be. Most times, there is a short return window or no returns allowed at all. Test-driving could show you an aspect about the car that you do not like and would otherwise be stuck with if you bought it without this additional step first.

5.  Letting Emotions Rule – We all have brands we are loyal to—there is nothing wrong with that—but vehicle models can change significantly from one year to the next. What worked a few years ago may not be a good fit now. Make sure to take the blinders off and look around at all options in your price range, including brands you had never considered.

With the right preparation, car buying can actually be a joy and not a chore. Happy Hunting! If there’s any way that we can help with your process, let us know!

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