Dreams Come True. Young man holds the keys to a new car
Buying a car isn’t something anybody should take lightly. After all, it is likely one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your life – so it makes sense to pay closer attention to the specifics that matter. Besides negotiating for the best auto loan rates with your lender or dealer, there are other things to consider that most people tend to overlook, either because of excitement or anxiousness.
To help you avoid the same fate, here’s a list of the five biggest mistakes people make when buying a new car.
Mistake 1: Rushing Through Research
Most people don’t enjoy the research stage of buying a car. However, rushing through the process is one of the biggest mistakes you can make for your finances. Dealers count on customers to be less informed than them. It’s the only way they can sweet-talk you into buying a model you don’t necessarily need or even like. If you don’t know your options, you’ll be more easily drawn into deals that aren’t half as beneficial to you as they are to your dealer.
Researching different car models and prices ahead of time will prepare you for your next visit to the showroom. Look for details that matter to you, like cars that have the best gas mileage. It also allows you to ask pertinent questions about the pros and cons of various vehicles.
Mistake 2: Not Taking Time to Research Insurance
Researching the best available car insurance is yet another important step before buying a car. Each company offers different coverage types and rates. Finding the right one for you takes time and effort, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. But not knowing the basic insurance coverage requirements can land you in hot water down the road. Besides needing to pay legal fines, you could also lose your license and other driving privileges if caught by the authorities. Find out what the minimum requirements are in your city or state before visiting a dealership.
Mistake 3: Mixing Emotions and Money
There’s nothing wrong with feeling happy or confident about buying a car. But if you’re basing your decision solely on the way you feel about a certain model or car type – pause and take a breath. Emotional decisions often cloud a person’s judgment and influences the way they think. Making the right choice won’t just save money now, it could also save you from financial troubles down the road.
To avoid emotional buying, take the car for a test drive. Does the steering wheel feel comfortable under your hands? Do the seats support your back enough? After answering these initial questions, take time to consider other aspects of the car. A few days or even a week should be enough for the high of the first test drive to wane, allowing you to better assess your options. Avoid buying a car immediately after a test drive. Don’t get pressured by sales pitches from overeager salesmen.
Mistake 4: Limiting Your Search to a Single Dealership
It is unwise to limit your shopping to a single location. Car quotes differ between dealerships; thus, you can sometimes buy the same model for a lower price at another location. Why? Manufacturers don’t sell their vehicles at a set price to dealers. Therefore, the prices a dealership pays to the manufacturer may vary, causing resale prices to vary between dealerships in different locations.
Auto resale prices can also be influenced by the cost-of-living index in a specific location. This may be why dealers in the next town can offer you better prices than the ones local to you. When shopping for a new car, branch out and check out other providers in other areas.
Mistake 5: Going in Without Backup
No matter how thoroughly you research, you can’t learn everything you need to know. Getting help when you need it can help you avoid costly mistakes, like buying the wrong car model or choosing the wrong insurance. Get a car-savvy friend or a certified mechanic to help you screen your choices quicker and more effectively.
If you’re struggling to figure out which car insurance to get, you might consider consulting a trusted insurance agent that handles multiple companies or hiring a financial advisor to help make the decision easier for you.
Buying a car can be exciting and inspiring. It’s a milestone that many young professionals and adults look forward to achieving. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be treated like a simple transaction. Researching different car insurance and car models can be a daunting and exhausting process. But you won’t regret taking these extra steps to ensure you don’t make the wrong choice.