Driving a brand-new car or vehicle is one of the most thrilling experiences in life, but when it comes to buying a new car, it is a whole new ball game entirely. Statistics have shown that most people change their vehicles at least once every six years which is an extended period indeed. Americans are spending a lot of money on vehicles (in 2016 alone, more than 17.5 million cars were sold) and despite the rising costs of cars every year, there are no apparent signs that people will stop buying new cars anytime soon.
Most people take their time to plan for vacations, and some can even spend up to a week to ensure everything is put in place and are in order. But they give little to no attention when the time comes for them to buy a car.
Buying a new car is one of the most significant investments you will ever make, and this is why it is one of the most anxiety-inducing prospects that you will encounter in life.
You need to carry out adequate research and plan your finances along the way.
Another factor you need to keep in mind is choosing a car that fits and meets your need. This is highly crucial so that you don’t end up paying thousands of dollars in addition to the purchase price.
Do not fall for the seeming friendliness of car salespeople. They are highly trained in the art of seduction and know the exact way to greet you and earn your trust within minutes. They know how to allay fears by sugar-coating whatever potential issues or problems you bring up when discussing the subject of cars, which vehicle fits your style, and overcome any objections you throw at them. They know how to move you from the point of uncertainty to the point where you will be bursting with confidence by recommending the best car that befits your lifestyle.
But know this: car dealers are looking for only one thing, and that is to make a sale by luring you into deals that might be detrimental for you in the long run.
The point is, if you are not adequately prepared by fortifying yourself with lots of relevant information, you will lose a lot of money, time, and your family’s driving happiness in the future.
This guide is put together so that you can avoid the many mistakes people make when they buy cars. When you avoid making such mistakes, you will not only save yourself a ton of headache – and a good chunk of money – but you will also enjoy your vehicle for a long time.
- Not Performing Sufficient Research
Shopping for a brand new car is not the same as searching for a smartphone or attire. Do not join the league of inexperienced car buyers who stroll into any dealership they fancy with unclear notions that all they need is a good vehicle and how much they can pay every month. Car salespeople love these rookie car buyers: they are ripe marks for these salesmen and can fall prey easily to their antics. People in this category drive a new car away from the dealership, oblivious of the financial burden they have incurred. By the time they realize this, it becomes too late to do anything about it.
But you are a smart shopper and should not be caught in a car salesman’s web. Therefore, the first place to begin your quest for a new set of wheels – as against a showroom floor – is in on the internet.
As a smart shopper, you need to do the following diligently:
- Spend countless hours online by researching the models of cars that are available,
- Compare features and costs
- Digest copious amounts of high-quality and genuine reviews from experts and past owners or customers
Nearly all car dealerships have internet sales departments which allow potential buyers to cross-shop and compare the car models that are available. They even give room for you to negotiate prices before showing up at their physical location.
- Not Test-driving the Vehicle
Results obtained from a DME Automotive research has shown that one person out of every six car buyers did not take the time to test-drive their new vehicle before paying for it. This is one of the common mistakes most potential car owners make and which you must avoid at all costs.
No matter the quality of the results you obtain online when performing your research, taking a vehicle for a drive is paramount and will show you whether or not the car matches your personal preferences.
Therefore, do not settle on a single car; sample other cars from competitors. Visit more than a few car dealers in your area or location and drive anything from four to seven vehicles to get a first-hand feel and accurate basis for comparison.
Do not trust or rely on the information provided by the glib-talking car salesmen. It’s true that they are professionals and are expected to know a lot about cars and their features. But the fact remains that their sole interest is in selling cars to boost their bottom line and earn commissions.
Some dealers may not take kindly to that and may attempt to limit you. If that is the case, please walk away from the dealership and never go back. But if not, take the car for a thorough test-drive. This will help you examine every feature of the vehicle while on the move to help you make the right buying decision.
You can also get in touch with an independent car specialist who is not connected in any way with any of the car dealerships. Returning a car that turns out to be a bad investment or fit can be extremely expensive and embarrassing.
If you are a woman, you need to be extra careful. Time and again, it has been revealed that women end up paying a lot more money for cars. To avoid this, you should take a male friend along with you. Make sure this fellow can drive and has good knowledge about cars. He may not interfere when you are discussing with the car salesman, except butting in with a frown or an occasional grunt.
- Underestimating the Significance of Car Safety Features
Most of the automobiles in the market today come with state-of-the-art features that enhance usability. Many people who buy cars do not take the time to learn about these safety features (do you see how important it is to perform thorough online research?).
Many would-be car owners don’t even know such features exist and so do not know what they should watch out for when comparing vehicles. But these advanced features are essential and should not be taken with a pinch of salt. For instance, anti-lock brake systems, head-protecting airbags, and electronic stability control are some of the best features any car can possess in today’s world. In the event of an accident or collision, these features significantly reduce the risk of fatalities or casualties. This is why the importance of performing in-depth research and finding out the benefits of every safety feature and their existence in your proposed car model cannot be overemphasized.
- Shopping Monthly Payment
You should know how much you can budget monthly. However, you should not make that amount the basis for negotiation. Don’t make the mistake of sharing this number with the salesperson.
You should negotiate the sales price of the new automobile first. The negotiation or discussion should be independent of trade-in, financing arrangements, and down payment.
You can take advantage of accessible online calculators – especially the one included in the Car and Driver Buyer’s Guide – and phone applications to convert interest rate, loan balance, etc. into a 30-day payment plan for you.
A car dealer that knows you will likely purchase a vehicle at a particular price range may introduce tempting offers such as leases or financing deals alongside payments stretched out over an extended period. If you take the bait, you will end up paying much more money on the whole.
Yes, there may be disputes about leasing, but it is not an issue that should be brought up or discussed at the car dealership. It should be part of the research phase and a decision you need to make before shopping for your car.
- Not Being Prepared to Back Down from a Seemingly Good Deal
No deal is too good to walk away from, and that includes transactions that have to do with new cars. As a car shopper, you should know that the strongest negotiating tool in your arsenal is the sight of your back, and no genuine car salesperson will like to see it without making a sale.
Some car salesmen may even pitch that the deal is only good for that particular day or the next 48 hours. Do not accept or fall for this nonsense; if you have a hunch that the deal is wrong or you suspect something fishy, you should be ready to back down from the deal by stating how uncomfortable you are with the deal.
You can offer to sleep on it or agree to carry out more research. Granted, this is a difficult step to take, especially if you have prepared your mind to drive home in a new car. This is the primary reason why expert salespeople go out of their way to ensure that you reason with your heart instead of your head.
At any rate, walk away if the deal is too good to be true. You will be surprised when the dealer calls in after a day or two to present a better deal. But if that phone call does not come, be prepared to visit other car dealerships in your locality.
- Purchasing Car Accessories from the Dealership
Some people are in love with certain brands and will not hesitate to buy branded accessories – such as alloy wheels, CD players, security alarms, etc. – from the dealer. There is no problem with enhancing the aesthetics of a new car with accessories; however, there is a big problem if you end up paying a lot more money than you ought to.
Car dealers sell accessories at exorbitant prices, and a majority of these accessories may not add any value to your vehicle. Some accessories may even have a negative impact on the resale value of your car in case of future upgrades.
If you must get accessories for your car, you should visit several accessory stores since they tend to sell their wares at lower prices compared to the dealerships.
- Not Knowing the Advantages and Disadvantages of New or Used Vehicles
Buying a new car is an exhilarating experience – possibly enhanced by the ‘new car smell.’ But getting a used car is not a bad idea in any way. Although it is highly unlikely for a new car to break down – even if it does, it is covered by a warranty from the car dealership – used cars that have been well-maintained are viable alternatives.
You can find a lot of used – but still good-looking – cars for sale at great prices. All you need to do is to take the time to verify the quality of the used car and get it if you are satisfied. This will save you a lot of money that you can channel to other issues in your personal life.
- Missing Out On Advantageous Discounts And Offers
The best period of the year to buy a car is from December to March. This is because most auto dealerships are trying their best sell off last year’s models as soon as possible.
As a result of this, they offer mouthwatering discounts which you can still negotiate and beat down.
A car is a dependable means of transportation; however, it is also an asset that must be invested in carefully. By taking note of these mistakes that people make when buying cars, you will be able to get the best deals on the vehicle of your choice while minimizing unforeseen problems extensively.