Purchasing a new car is a different experience for different people. Some folks live for it, while others loathe the idea of visiting numerous car dealerships and getting hammered by high-intensity salespeople! While some aspects of the process are unavoidable, you can make the process much more accessible (and affordable) by taking a few measures. By the end of this post, you should be ready to take on all facets of the car purchase process and be confident in any decision you make.
Get Funds For Your New Car By Trading In Your Old One
If you are in the enviable position of already owning a vehicle, your first step would be trying to sell it to raise funds for your next one. However, if you are the kind of person who likes to run their belongings to the bitter end (good for you) and are left with a bit of a beater, you might find it a bit of a challenge to get the best price possible. Nonetheless, there’s no need to fret because you still have plenty of options. One of which is selling your car for scrap and pocketing the cash needed for a downpayment on a shiny new one. If you live in a large city, this is far easier than you might think. For instance, it is relatively straightforward to get cash for junk cars in Baltimore or anywhere with a large population since it’s more likely that professional scrap merchants work in these areas. Selling for scrap won’t net you a lot, but if your car is on its last legs and you don’t want the hassle of fixing it up for resale, this is your best option. However, if your car is still in good condition, you will definitely get more by part exchanging it at a dealership or selling privately (you will get less with the former option, but it’s far easier than the latter).
Understand Your Needs Before You Start Looking
If you genuinely want the best deal possible, you first need to consider what you want from a new car. Not only will this help you avoid a costly mistake (try taking the kids to soccer practice in a Mazda MX5), but it will also help you save money in areas that count, such as fuel costs. Some of the more essential things you need to understand include the following:
- Your budget
- What kind of performance do you require (e.g., do you tow or carry lots of things, etc.)
- Whether you can afford a specific model’s upkeep (a Mercedes will cost more to service than a Hyundai)
- You required space requirements
- If you plan on keeping it for a long time
- The cost of your insurance
There are plenty more things you should double-check before heading out to a dealer, but these are the most common questions you should ask yourself initially.
Know Your Budget And Stick To It
Your budget will be a large determining factor in what you can afford to buy and, therefore, should be the main thing you focus on. Moreover, when you set a budget, you should attempt to stick to it and not get carried away at the moment. Nonetheless, you should also remain flexible since if you see a great deal, but it’s slightly over your budget, it might be prudent to raise a bit more money to get a better deal.
Consider Leasing Rather Than Buying If Your Budget Is Tight
Leasing is an interesting option that plenty of people have taken over the years due to the inherent benefits included in this kind of purchase. Leasing is an attractive option for those searching for an affordable way to get in the driver’s seat of their perfect car without breaking the bank. Unlike buying, you can often qualify for a lower lease payment because you’re only paying for the vehicle’s use during that time span, not its total purchase price. You also won’t have to worry about repair costs since most leases include maintenance coverage, so you’ll be assured of a reliable ride with minimal hassle! The only real downside is you never own the car, and you could end up with decades of payments but nothing to show for it at the end. Nevertheless, it’s a great choice if you want more car for your money but can’t afford the requisite costs for upkeep and upgrades, etc.
Figure Out If You Can Afford The General Running And Maintenance Costs
This point was briefly touched on earlier but is something that requires its own spot in the post, considering its significance. In essence, some cars require more maintenance and repairs than others, so do some research to find out how much you’d be looking at for upkeep. After all, no one wants to have their brand-new car in the repair shop within weeks of buying it! Moreover, certain maintenance tasks, such as changing tires, have different costs based on the vehicle. For example, a replacement set of tires for a Mercedes can cost up to $1400, whereas other brands are usually significantly cheaper. This is the same when you compare all components of your car, from a simple oil change to a diagnostic checkup…you should see what these procedures cost and whether you can manage to pay for them.
Consider Buying Nearly New For The Best Deals
If you have a decent budget but simply want to get as much bang for your buck as possible (who doesn’t these days), then it’s wise to get the idea of a brand new car out of your head and instead take a look at the millions of nearly new models that hit the market every day. Not only will you save money on the actual purchase, but you will miss the enormous depreciation that occurs as soon as a brand-new car leaves the lot (which can be up to 10% in some cases).
Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate For A Better Deal
Last but not least, to get the best deal possible, you must leave your reservations at home regarding haggling. Put your adult pants on and get ready to make a deal. However, this comes with some caveats, including that if you want to be taken seriously, you need to research the cost of a car before you begin. Knowing your numbers will help you massively when it comes to the actual negotiation. Furthermore, you must be realistic. No dealer will sell you a car worth $20,000 for $10,000. If you are reasonable in your demands, you are more likely to be met with reason by the salesperson, and both walk away happy.
Using the tips in this post, you should discover a new perspective on buying a car. From knowing how and where to sell your existing vehicle for the best price to getting ready for a bit of hardcore haggling, if you know what’s what, you should come out on top!