Shopping for cars is generally a stressful experience. It does not have to be, though. With a little knowledge and determination, your car shopping experience can be devoid of stress. Use the tips that follow to make your car shopping experience one that you enjoy, with a shiny new car to show for it.
Go to different dealerships before settling on one. A different dealership might be able to get you a better price on the car you want, and may be running different promotions. Try three or four in your area, and even if you have to travel a bit farther, it may be worth it.
Take a good look at the underside of the vehicle. Try to keep your eyes peeled for signs of rust and erosion. A car can look great on the outside, but be falling apart underneath. If you see rust under the vehicle move on. This could mean a lot of repairs later on.
Rather than buying a brand-new car, purchase a lightly used one that is only a couple of years old. Many cars come with transferable warranties that last for three years or 36,000 miles. You will save a significant amount over buying new, and the warranty will give you peace of mind for the first year or so.
Ask the car dealer to show you a vehicle history report. This can tell you if the vehicle has been in an accident or if it has been recalled. It can also show you what repairs have been done and when they were done so that you know exactly what you are buying.
Take the car you want for a spin. Even if you've already test driven this exact brand and model, you must know if it drives well. There might be a slight difference or mechanical problems that you won't pick up without a test drive.
Before signing any contract take the time to read every line, including the fine print. If there is anything listed that you do not understand, do not sign until you get an answer that you understand. Unsavory salesmen can use a contract to insert many fees that were not discussed.
Search for your new car online before you ever visit a dealership. Searching online allows you to look at inventory from multiple dealerships, and it makes you privy to information about online only pricing. This is a great way to comparison shop and really make sure you are getting the best deal.
Due diligence should be exercised when planning your car budget. It is imperative that you take a full and realistic look at your budget. Not only must you consider a car payment, you must also consider insurance, gas and maintenance for the vehicle. There is nothing worse than having a vehicle that you cannot afford to drive.
Watch out for the car salesman who offers you a price on a car before he visits his sales manager. The salesman will tell you anything you want to hear, but only the manager can approve the deal. Ask to speak to the manager face to face and see the deal on paper before committing to purchase the car.
Check out multiple dealerships for the car you desire. Once you select which make and model you want, don't just stick to the closest lot. If there are multiple dealers of that brand, check them all out. Don't forget to check out used lots as well, they often offer great bargains on cars which will drive for a long time to come.
Don't let the salesperson know you have a trade in until you have a firm sales price in hand. Some dealers will inflate the price if they think you're trading in a car, so they can offer you a lot for the trade in, which is, then balanced by the new price they give on the car they're selling.
If you know what kind of car, you want, and you know what dealership you want to go through, give them a call before you go. This way, the dealer can have the car ready for a test drive when you get there. It will save you and the dealer time that could be spent negotiating.
Make sure you know what you are signing. Later on, you may be hit with fees you weren't expecting, but were spelled out in the contract. By the time you start signing papers you are ready to be out on the road, but take the time to read the paperwork that you are signing before you leave.
Take extra care when car shopping if you are a female. The sad fact is that some salespeople believe that women are uninformed buyers and will try to take advantage. Arm yourself with research on prices ahead of time, and don't be afraid to walk away if your salesperson seems condescending.
When you want a car with certain features, you may have to special order it, but you may not be able to if the car comes from overseas. That said, the dealer may be able to call other lots to find the exact model you want and have it brought over for you, so ask for that option.
Be wary of financing if you plan to get another car soon. If you want to get a car without putting any money down, and plan to get a new car in a year or two, you're setting yourself up to carry balances from car to car. You'll end up paying more than the car is worth.
Before going to dealer, have a budget set. Know how much you are willing to spend, and do not exceed that limit. Do this well in advance of entering the showroom. Once you are there, it is tempting to buy extras you do not need or cannot afford. Have a budget.
You can shop for cars without going through tons of stress. While car shopping is something that many view as stressful, with some general tips, you can be driving off in your new car in no time at all. Use these tips to help you make your car shopping experience enjoyable.