Seven Top Car-Buying Tips

car buyingBuying a car does not have to be a complicated process. Take your time and follow the proper steps so that you can feel confident that you are getting the best deal on the right car for you.

1. Research the Worth of Your Current Car

The car you are trading in is one of your most important financial tools when you buy a car. Look online and in your local newspaper for the prices being offered for similar cars. You might get more out of your old car if you sell it yourself rather than trading it in.

2. Shop Online First

The internet provides a great deal of information about the cars that are on the market today. Do some research into the types of cars you are interested in before you visit the dealer’s lot. Find out what kind of prices are offered by several dealers in your area. Look through the manufacturer’s website to see what kinds of options are available on the cars you like.

3. Choosing Between New or Used

Check into the financial differences between new and used cars. High quality vehicles from the past few years can be good purchases, but you might be able to save more money through rebates and other incentives on a new car.

4. Secure the Cash Before You Visit the Dealer

If you plan to purchase your car through a loan, go ahead and apply for the money before you go shopping. Having the loan amount already approved gives you a safe price range to shop in. It also reduces the anxiety of applying for money for a car that you have fallen in love with on a showroom floor.

5. Consider the Differences Between Leasing and Purchasing

Leasing and purchasing each have benefits and drawbacks. A lease will put you into a car without a large downpayment, and the monthly payments tend to be lower than traditional loan payments. Owning your car gives you a little more freedom to make cosmetic changes, and you can keep the car as long as you like.

6. Negotiate the Final Cost

Every car purchase involves some haggling. Be prepared to negotiate by looking up the dealer’s invoice price on the vehicle you are interested in. Collect bids from several dealerships to use as leverage during your negotiation. If you are planning to lease a car, make an effort to learn some of the leasing jargon that the salesperson will use to try to throw you off. If you are hesitant to enter negotiations on your own, think about buying a car through a car-shopping service that offers no-haggle pricing.

7. Resist the Temptation of Last Minute Add-ons

As you are filling out the final paperwork for your purchase, the finance manager will probably suggest that you add on some last minute items. Resist this last ditch attempt to get you to spend more on the car than you intended to. These may seem like small additions, but they can add up very quickly.