The idea of getting a car is at once an exciting prospect and a daunting one. Whether you are leaning towards new or used, there are a host of considerations. The idea of dealing with salesmen holds little appeal, and while there are plenty of good ones out there, let’s face it, there are plenty that fit the negative stereotype, hence the existence of said stereotype in the first place.
But, it doesn’t have to be as daunting as we make it out to be. One of the reasons it is so stressful for people is the sheer fact they are uneducated and unprepared. When you do a bit of homework, you put yourself in a much better position to successfully navigate the lots. Here are just a few helpful hints to aid you on your car-buying journey:
What Do You Want and Need?
There is certainly no shortage of cars out there from which to choose, regardless of your budgetary constraints. Whether you are in the market for a new or used vehicle, it is important to give some thought to what you really want and need beyond simply a ‘car.’ Obviously.
But what type of car? What features are super-important? What would be nice but not necessary? What is completely unimportant and doesn’t matter?
What sort of budget are you looking at? Do you plan on financing a vehicle, getting a loan or paying cash? The more you get clear on what you are looking for exactly, the less likely it will be that you will get caught up in bells and whistle, buying a car you can’t afford, or is impractical for your purposes and lifestyle.
The Internet is Your Best Friend
In this day and age, there is no excuse to be uninformed about anything when you think about it. When it comes to buying a car, the internet is hands down your best friend, and you would be silly not to take advantage of all the helpful information available to car-wise. You can research prices, value, safety ratings, and all other sorts of goodies.
Many dealerships have a host of information available about their inventory. Take a look at the inventory search site of Washington-based Kirkland Jeep, for example. They provide real-time updates of whether a particular car is in stock, you can request an online price directly from the site, and even schedule a test drive for the specific vehicle in which you are interested. There is even a live chat feature.
Bone up on some negotiating tips, learn how to get the best financing options. The more you know, the more confident you will be. You can focus your search more effectively. No wandering around dealerships all day for the next three weekends.
Don’t Wait Until You Absolutely Need a Car
For some reading, this last point may be moot, but for those of you whose current ride is still chugging along, and you are not quite ready to get a car yet, it usually isn’t the best idea to wait to get a car until you absolutely need one.
If your current car goes on the fritz, buying one now will be a much different experience. There will be rushing, which means lack of research and planning. You will have less leverage in the process because you don’t’ have to luxury to bargain, walk away and shop around.
If you know you will be buying a car sooner than later, start the process sooner.