How to Buy a Car – 7 Essential Tips to Get the Best Deal
Do Your Homework
Before you call a dealership with an inquiry or even pay them a visit, it is wise to first figure out what kind of vehicle you want and what features are important to you. Then do some research on finding a vehicle that matches and is manageable financially.
Figure out which vehicle best fits your needs, lifestyle, preferences, and budget. For example, if you are single, you may opt for a small sedan or coupe, however, if you have a large family you might need a minivan or an SUV with third-row seating. If you can, avoid just looking for the cheapest vehicle in your category. You may save money on the purchase price, but keep in mind there’s a reason why the car is priced so low. It may be because of age, high mileage, general condition, or it could be in need of repairs, all of which are likely to cost you more money in the not too distant future.
Once you figure out what type of vehicle fits your needs and preferences, and how much of a down payment and monthly payments you can comfortably afford, you can start searching online for the best match. If you have purchased a car previously and were happy with the dealership, you may want to stick with that dealer. If not, start with two or three dealers and compare the make, model, features and price with your ideal vehicle.
Explore Financing Option
Most people will need financing when buying a car. There are some who do buy their cars with cash but that’s primarily wealthy buyers, or those who are buying very inexpensive vehicles. If you have a high credit score you can probably get pre-approved with a fairly low interest rate from your bank or credit union. For those with an average or lower credit score, just about all new and used car dealerships have a variety of financing options available, depending on the customers’ credit score and history. And even if your score is only fair, there may be some ability to negotiate the rate with the dealership, especially if you can make a down payment; the more you can put down the better your chances for a lower rate. If you don’t know your credit score, there are a number of online sites that you can get it from for free, and everyone is entitled to a free credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Focus on Both the Total Cost and The Monthly Payments
After you get a price from the car salesman, don’t forget to factor in all the additional costs, such as sales tax, title registration, notary fees, and possible options like an extended warranty. One of the most important costs to be considered, of course, is the monthly payment amount, which is determined by the interest rate, the down payment, and the number of months of the loan. Keeping the term as short as you can comfortably afford can save you money in the long run by reducing the overall interest you will pay. The key word here is comfortable; you don’t want all of your combined monthly payments to be so tight that an unexpected expense causes you to miss some payments. And don’t forget to estimate the cost of insurance and operating expenses when you calculate how much you can afford monthly.
Don’t Let Emotions Cloud Your Judgement
It’s certainly quite common for most of us to get pretty excited when we get a new car, but you don’t want that excitement to work against you when you’re still working out the details. While some salesmen may try to take advantage of your excitement by talking you into a car that’s really too expensive for you, most dealerships are very honorable and actually do what they can to make sure you buy a vehicle you can afford. After all, they want you to be a future repeat customer, which won’t happen if your car gets repossessed. Be sure you ask questions about all the charges and payments and be confident you have a complete understanding of all the financial details. Take your time and get all the information necessary to make the best decision.
You Can’t Negotiate Everything
Certainly, you want to get the best financial deal possible, and you may be able to negotiate a lower purchase price and possibly even some of the fees and options. However, some fees are definitely not, negotiable, such as registration fees and taxes. Car dealerships doe not have any control over those charges and the money goes straight to the various government agencies.
Don’t Spend More than What Is Necessary
After you have negotiated a deal with the salesman, he may talk to you about different add-ons that are available. You may have been at the dealership for hours and want to finish the paperwork quickly, get in your new car, and finally get out of there. Don’t automatically say yes to anything just to speed up the process. This can cause you to pay more than you need or want to spend. Remember the last line of one of the previous paragraphs, it can save you money: Take your time and get all the information necessary to make the best decision.
First Class Auto Land is a third generation, family owned and operated used car dealership that has been providing customers with the most trusted, straight-forward car buying experience in the Tri-State area. Every one of our pre-owned vehicles goes through a comprehensive 119-point inspection, and we back every vehicle we sell with a 3-month or 4,500-mile full power train warranty.
Choose from a variety of pre-owned and nearly-new cars, trucks and SUVs for every budget and style. You can easily see what’s currently available by exploring our online inventory or with a visit to our showroom. We have the lowest prices in the metro area, and our team is ready to help you find the right vehicle, at a price that’s well within your budget. We work with financial institutions across the region to help connect our customers with the right financing opportunities. We take great pride in our family-owned dealership and work hard to provide our customers with a stress-free shopping experience. We invite you to see for yourself just how easy it is. We’re conveniently located at 4050 Frankford Ave in Philadelphia.