Tip 1 – Know What You Want and Need
Think about what you need in a vehicle before you start shopping. Once you see what’s out there, it can be easy to convince yourself you need the latest technology or style. First, focus on what you like about the vehicle you own as well as what you wish you had.
Second, think about your budget. Can you really afford all of those extra amenities? Narrow your list down to just a few features you really need and a couple you want.
Tip 2 – Research Brands
The next step is to decide which brands have the models with the features you want in a price you can afford. Read reviews from sites like Edmunds.com and U.S. News & World Report to see how those models compare with the competition.
Come up with two or three models you feel would be a good fit in your price range. These are the options you’ll focus on for now.
Tip 3 – Compare Cost to Own
While you’ll start with the initial price for these vehicles either new or used, you’ll want to consider other costs as well. This includes car insurance, maintenance and repairs and interest rates. The final total will tell you how much this model will cost you throughout its life. You also want to compare that information with the resale value to determine if you’re getting a good deal.
Tip 4 – Find a Dealership
Once you know the vehicle you want to buy, and you’ve checked with your auto insurance agent about the change in policy rates, you’re ready to find a dealership. Find out which dealers are having sales to discover the best deal. While dealers have to follow any incentives for the manufacturer, they may offer special discounts to lower the price even further.
Tip 5 – Don’t Buy on Day One
After you select a dealership, stop in to look at your preferred model. Take it for a test drive, and ask plenty of questions. Don’t make a decision that day, no matter how much the sales person tries to convince you that now is the time to buy. Go home; think about it overnight. You’ll be less likely to regret a decision you’ve had time to consider.
Buying a vehicle doesn’t have to be frightening or confusing. Talk to the experts like a car insurance agent and sales personnel, and do your own research. Get the information, and know what you need. When you decide on a vehicle, you’ll be happy with your choice until it’s time to trade it in and go through the process all over again.