There are only a few life experiences, as exhilarating as driving your brand new car. To get there, however, you have to walk into a dealership and buy one, which, surprisingly, is considered as one of the most stressful events people experience. The main reason why buying a new car can make you anxious is that people often tend to do it uninformed, which can bring a myriad of problems in the future. Take a look at the most common car-buying mistakes people make – and learn how to avoid them:
- Not doing your research
Knowing what you’re looking for and why is important for every type of transaction, but especially when you’re buying a car. Most people will enter a dealership with a vague notion that they need a new car, which is hardly enough to make an informed decision. There are thousands of websites out there, comparing and listing features of different vehicles, so you have no excuse to walk in unprepared!
- Not checking out the competition
This is usually tied up with mistake #1 – if you don’t know what you want and why, you’ll be tempted to go and buy the first good thing you see. Competition means savings for you – the more dealers you check out, the greater your chances to receive lower quotes for your dream car. You don’t have to actually visit every single dealership you – you can ask them for quotes online.
- Forgetting the test drive
Would you buy a dress or a shirt, without trying it on first? Then why would you do the same with a car? According to research, only one in six car buyers actually drives their new car before purchasing it, and a third of those only take it for a short 10-minute spin around the block. You need to check your car to make sure it is “the one”.
One of the most frequent rookie mistakes people make when buying a car is haggling. Negotiating per se is not necessarily a bad thing, but you need to know how to do it right. Negotiating down from the sticker price, for instance, is a no-no: even if you manage to lower the price, chances are that the car will cost your dealer even less. So, instead, try to negotiate up from what the dealer paid for the vehicle – to do that, of course, you need to know the dealer’s true cost and work out the profit margins. Also, never negotiate the purchase price, trade-in and financing all at once – do your research ahead of time and make sure you know what the competitive price for your vehicle is.
- Forgetting about insurance
The exhilaration that comes, when you buy a new car, can often be enough to get you to forget all about the insurance. What’s more, many buyers actually negotiate a deal that is financially-sound and fits their carefully made monthly budget, only to realize they’ve left the insurance out of the calculations. Check the insurance rates of the car you’re looking for in advance, so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises.