Buying a new car is an exciting thing, but it’s also a major investment. Therefore, taking your time and being as informed as possible are both of critical importance. One of the best ways to walk into that dealership as prepared as you can be is by learning about the most common car buying mistakes. Ten of them are highlighted below for your convenience.
- Skipping The Test Drive – Before settling on one vehicle, be sure to give it a test drive – and make sure that you test drive the same trim that you’ll be purchasing. A car that looks great on paper may disappoint you in reality, so never skip this step.
- Shrugging Off Safety Features – Paying a bit more for a car that has premium safety features is a smart move; ignoring safety features in favour of less critical features is not.
- Limiting Financing Options – All too often, car buyers settle on dealer financing without exploring the many other options that are available out there. Don’t make that mistake – check with your bank and other lenders to see what financing deals they offer.
- Zeroing In On One Model – Walking into a dealership with your heart set on one model – and excluding all other possibilities – is a great way to pay more than you should. Always keep an open mind.
- Not Negotiating Properly – Basing your negotiating on the MSRP, or sticker price, is not a savvy way to go. Always base your negotiating on the dealer invoice price, and go from there.
- Paying For Unneeded Extras – Dealerships often try to tack on unnecessary options to the total bill; don’t get suckered in. Things like rustproofing and paint protection are unnecessary extras that only serve to bloat up your final price.
- Focusing On The Monthly Payment – Basing your decision on what your monthly payment will be is not a smart way to shop for a new car. When people do that, they often end up buying cars that are way more money than they can actually afford. Focus on the total bill, and not on what you’ll be coughing up each month.
- Not Comparison Shopping – To be an informed car buyer, you need to know what others are paying for the vehicles that you’re looking at. There are many online resources for tracking the going price for various makes and models; put them to good use so that you don’t get taken for a ride.
- Losing Out On A Trade-In – Be sure to do some research to find out what a fair trade-in price is for your old vehicle. Otherwise, you could end up getting the short end of the stick.
- Buying The Deal Instead Of The Car – You’re going to have to drive the car you buy all the time, so you better like it. Don’t base your decision strictly on the deal you’re getting, or you could end up with a car that really doesn’t work for you.
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