Here’s What Not To Do When Buying Your Next Car
So, you’re in the market for a new car.
You have been online and checked out the best selling models of the year. You have browsed the classifieds for cars being sold near you. And you have made plans to say goodbye to your current motor, perhaps with the odd touch up here and there to make it presentable to buyers.
You’re good to go, right?
Well, hold on. There are a few things you shouldn’t do when you’re buying your next car, and in this article, we are going to list just a few of them.
#1: Don’t forget about your credit score
Some car dealers will use a person’s bad credit to their advantage and hike up the interest on the finance deal. Banks will do the same if you go to them for a loan. On the flip side, the dealer and the bank might refuse you a loan altogether if your credit score is poor, so you might not be able to get the car you’re looking for.
So, our advice is this. Check your credit score online before starting your car-buying journey, and if it’s not as good as it should be, do what you can to improve your credit score. You will then reduce your chances of an interest rate that you can’t afford to keep up with, and you won’t suffer the indignity of a loan rejection.
#2: Don’t forget your practical needs
A car has to be practical for your needs, so before you’re tempted to buy something on looks alone, consider your lifestyle and the people who live with you.
If you have a large family, for example, you need something with the room to accommodate everybody, from the youngest to the oldest. You need something with boot space to hold everybody’s belongings too.
If you’re planning on using your car offroad, you don’t want to spend a fortune on a luxury car that doesn’t have the traction to manage anything other than tarmac. The Ford pickups at Riley Ford Inc would be more appropriate for your needs.
And if you’re living on a limited budget, you probably don’t want something that eats up fuel quicker than it takes to top it up. You will only end up spending a fortune in the long term, even if you do get a decent financing deal at the outset.
In short, then, think before you buy. Car dealers will try to persuade you to part with your cash, but if you buy something that isn’t right for you, you will end up wasting your money.
#3: Don’t rush the test drive
You will probably understand the importance of a test drive, as you might only end up with a car that a) doesn’t suit your comfort needs, or b) is a pile of junk, if you neglect this one aspect of the car buying process.
However, when you go on a test drive, take your time. Don’t let the dealer force you into a shorter journey, as they may be trying to hide something about the car. Test the car for as long as you’re able, and try it out at different speeds and on different environments. When you take your time, you will find out if it really is right for you. And you will also have more time to check for those faults that might only be noticeable after an hour or two of driving.
Check out these test driving tips to learn more.
#4: Don’t rely on your limited car knowledge
If you’re a qualified car mechanic and a passionate car enthusiast, you might know everything you need to know when checking a car before purchase. But if you’re like most people, and know very little about what makes a car tick, then you should seek the support of another.
When you have found a car you like, ask a trusted mechanic to check it out for you. Yes, you might have to pay them for the privilege, but this is better than driving away in something that conks out 30 minutes later. You might also want them to come on the test drive with you, as they will have an idea of the problem sounds and smells that indicate car faults.
Just a word of warning here too. While the dealer might tell you the car has been checked out by their own mechanic, still go ahead and choose your own. This is because some dealers might lie to you, be that because they haven’t really had the car checked out, or because their own mechanic is in on the potential scam.
#5: Don’t assume you can afford the car
You might find a car at a price that you can afford. Yippee! However, don’t rush into signing on any dotted line. The purchase price might be attractive, but you then have to consider those hidden car costs. We have already mentioned the cost of fuel, but there are other things to add to the equation too. How much will it cost to insure? What will you be paying in interest? How much are the security features that will need to be added to the vehicle? Will you be able to afford the (optional) extended warranty?
These are just some of the costs you will need to consider, and they will be on top of the stickered price. Do the maths first so you have a better idea of what you can realistically afford.
#6: Don’t buy the first car you like
You might be tempted to buy the first car you like, but what if you see a similar model for a cheaper price elsewhere? What if you find out the car in question is known to have expensive maintenance problems? You will only regret your decision to buy if you later discover something that quells your excitement, so commit to research. Explore various dealerships. Look for car prices online. And find out about any common faults certain models are prone to having. By doing your homework, you will be in a more informed position.
Be mindful then, and avoid all of the mistakes that we have mentioned here.