Buying a brand new car for the first time can be exhilarating for most. However, dealerships often see first time car buyers as easy targets because most lack the experience and knowledge of how to purchase their new car without being taken for a ride.
There are many reasons why so many people are frustrated dealership experiences, and how unscrupulous dealers take advantage of buyers who are new to the market. Here are some of the most common mistakes first-time car buyers make and how you can avoid them.
1) Bring the right person
If you are new to car buying, we strongly recommend bringing someone else along to help you weigh the pros and cons of your various options. Make sure you bring someone who knows how to stick to their guns and is willing to ask the tough questions. Preferably bring someone who already owns a car and has prior experience buying cars.
This is a purchase that should be discussed in detail ahead of time. Typically, the best course of action is to spend a few days test driving cars just to see what you like and what you don’t. Then, make some phone calls and solicit quotes.
This person, whether a friend or family member, can help to make sure you don’t overlook the basic inspection points before you purchase your car.
2) Read all the paperwork
When you buy a car, you are signing a contractual agreement. More often than not, that contract is designed to work for the dealership, not you. You should read, understand, and ask questions about all the documents you are signing. In addition to the purchase price, there will be other fees, such as sales tax and registration fees.
If at any point in time you feel pressured or uncomfortable, just walk away. You can always find another car and another deal at another time. Not every dealer is out to rip you off. Many of them just want to give you a nice price and send you away feeling good with the hope that you will come back to their store for your next car.
But this is a big ticket item purchase that can have serious ramifications on your finances and leave you filled with regret if you aren’t careful. Be patient, be diligent and be smart.
3) Check your credit
If you have never bought a car before and have limited or no credit history, it will be a challenge getting approved for a car loan. You want to know what you are up against before stepping foot into the dealership.
Often first-time car buyers will require a co-signer on their loan in order just to qualify. These can be awkward conversations and your loved ones may be apprehensive when it comes to lending a hand. The reason being is that if you don’t make the payments, they are on the hook, and their credit score could take a hit.
Check your credit report and talk to some lenders. Know what you do or do not qualify for before thinking about what kind of car you are going to buy. Be patient, save up some cash and get something cheap while your credit situation improves.
4) Be practical and realistic
Of course, you want a new ride that is stylish and has great features, but you need to really think about how you are going to use this car and what kind of driving you do on a daily basis. What seems great on the lot may not be the best fit for your lifestyle.
Before you go car-hunting, have a clear understanding on what you can afford.
5) Don’t overlook used cars
Some people think the only way to get a reliable car is to buy a new one. While new cars will offer you a factory warranty for several years in case something comes up, that doesn’t mean used cars are ticking time bombs waiting to drain your wallet. If you require some convincing, check out our 4 top reasons why buying a used car is an excellent investment. Browse our extensive catalogue of used cars to see if any tickle your fancy.