Whether you’re a recent graduate or someone with a full-time job, buying a car can be exciting, but stressful. With so many options available, it’s hard to choose the best vehicle. There are many questions to ask yourself. Do I want a two-door sports car? Or something more practical, like a crossover or SUV? And, of course, once you get settled on what you want, you have to determine your budget. So, whether you are buying your first car or upgrading your old one, here are some tips on making the most of that vehicle purchase.
1. Know your budget.
First, you need to determine your budget. You need to know what you can afford to pay each month. To do that, factor in your health insurance, food, rent, bills, and recreational expenses to determine a practical monthly payment. If possible, put more money down when buying your car so that you lower your monthly loan payments.
2. Establish your needs.
If you live and work in the city, you may want to look at a functional, small car (if you consider where you will be parking it). If you’re in a more suburban or country area, weather can be unpredictable. So, it may be best to get a crossover or SUV.
3. Go to a local car dealership.
Most new cars come with tons of complimentary services. From oil changes through inspections to tire rotations, getting all of these services free for the first few miles has its perks. However, if your dealership is 30 or more miles away, you may be spending those free perks on gas.
4. Visit as many dealers and test-rive as many cars as possible.
It may sound time-consuming and bothersome, but trust me: It’s worth it. You may think you want a Mazda 3 until you step into a Buick Encore GX. After all, different cars have different features. Don’t settle on your first test drive.
5. Don’t get ripped off.
It’s a long-standing joke that car dealerships rip people off, and, sadly, it’s not wrong. Make sure you know your facts before you go to the dealer. Check Kelley Blue Book if you are trading in your car to ensure the dealer gives you the best offer for your trade-in. Don’t offer any figures to your dealer, either. If you know you can afford a $30,000 car but are looking at a $40,000 car, tell the dealer $30,000. More often than not, you will get your price because dealers want to make the sale.
6. Enjoy Your Ride.
Figuratively and literally. Enjoy the time you put into researching and test-driving a new car. Any investment is worth enjoying, and purchasing a new car is undoubtedly a worthy investment you should celebrate!
Are you in the market for a new car? Or maybe you have just purchased a new vehicle? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!