Is there anyone else out there who has a love-hate relationship with buying a car? It’s so fun to look for your dream vehicle but at the same time, aside from your house, it’s one of the biggest purchases you’re ever going to make. Let that sink in for a moment. Stress-inducing, right? But it doesn’t have to be! All you need are a few handy tips and you’ll be all set for your next car purchase.
Let’s begin with what I think is one of the most important steps when it comes making your next car purchase. Research.
It’s so important that you do your homework when it comes to making a large purchase like buying a car! I remember one time I had seen this car at a dealership and I fell in love with it. I mean, I fell hard. I was ready to hand over my hard-earned money that very second and drive away in that car. Fortunately, I had taken my dad along with me to help prevent such rash ill-advised moves and he made me walk away. We headed to the library, dug around for some background information, and sure enough. It turned out that my so-called dream car had the potential to be a giant nightmare!
These days, it’s so much easier to find out the information you need before purchasing a new (or new to you) car. You can even do it from the comfort of your own home in your pajamas! My new go-to resource is Cars.com. They have a HUGE selection of information about a wide variety of cars and that means you get to make an informed decision. Even better, they take their information to the next level with their Videos and Reviews feature. And best of all, they give it you straight. If a car has negative reviews, they let you know! This is invaluable when it comes to making such an important purchase.
Another important consideration before hunting for a car is to set your budget.
I can’t tell you how many people I have known who have gotten in over their heads when it comes to their car payments! You have to set honest limits and keep all of the extras in mind too! It’s not just the cost on the price sticker, don’t forget taxes, fees, insurance, car registration, and maintenance. Once your budget is set, STICK TO IT. If you’re looking for potential cars on Cars.com, you can set the maximum price you’re able to pay and your search will only show you those within your budget. If you’ve gone to a dealership or used car lot, be clear on your financial limits and don’t let anyone try to pressure you into even looking at vehicles you can’t even afford. Stick to your guns!
My next tip is to keep your options open.
You may already have an idea of what you want but it’s still important to shop around. Don’t limit yourself to either new or used cars – you may have a preference but give yourself the chance to see what’s out there before making a final decision. Take your time as you look around and make sure that you are finding the car that’s perfect for you. Besides, by shopping around, you might just find a better deal on the car you want! For any that you are seriously, considering, be sure to take them for a test drive. This isn’t just important for used cars but for new ones as well. I’ve been completely set on a particular vehicle – it had great reviews and safety ratings, I loved the look of it, and it was a style that fit my life perfectly. Unfortunately, it did not fit my body. The seats had this very curved shape that pressed right into my hips and it was actually quite painful! You want to find the best buy you can but at the same time, you want to be sure, it’s a car you’re going to be happy with day in and day out.