There are fewer purchasing choices that can affect your near future quite as deeply as buying a car. Aside from their cost, you have the fact that many of us rely on our car each and every day to help us achieve the lifestyle that we want and take care of our responsibilities. As such, some care should be taken to make sure you make the right decision. For that reason, we’re going to look at some of the biggest mistakes you should avoid when buying a car.
Underestimating the cost of ownership
Owning a car is one of the biggest financial commitments that you’re going to have in life and you have to take it seriously. Work out how much your car will cost you in monthly payments to ensure that you’re willing and able to pay it off for the entire term of the loan. Use a calculator and see how it fits into your budget before you make your decision.
Not test driving it properly
A test drive is not all about seeing how you feel about your car behind the wheel and seeing if it’s comfortable for you. Don’t fall in love with a car just because it feels nice to drive. Test the different functions and features of the car. Try driving it uphill. See how easily you can get it into a parking space. You have to test the car, not just drive it.
Don’t buy a car without researching it first
Your test drive may well have helped you get a better idea of how the car feels and runs, as well as how many of its features work. However, it would help if you took the time to research how well it suits your needs with sites like Edmunds. Read up on reviews to see how it lasts in the long term, not just for that first drive.
Don’t get finance from the dealer
In most cases, a new car buyer is going to find a finance option for their vehicle, rather than try to buy it all at once. The dealer will very likely have their own finance options, but these aren’t always going to be the most reliable options. Use sites like Marketwatch to find lenders who can provide a loan that’s much more suited to your needs. Make sure you understand the specifics of your repayments and make sure they get in your budget before signing onto any loan.
Don’t get suckered into unnecessary additions
Depending on where you buy, your dealer may well try to convince you of the value of a range of extras that can be “thrown in” with your car. These all come at a cost. You should be ready to say no to all kinds of unnecessary extras, from rustproofing to windshield coatings to extended warranties. Most of these aren’t worth the price that they’re charged.
The above tips are not a comprehensive list of the mistakes you should avoid, but hopefully, they give you an idea of how carefully you should think and research your decision before making it.