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10 Tips For Buying A New Car


Written By Soo L.
Image By Fleur-Design
Tags smart spending, cars, sports cars, buying,

Buying a new car is definitely not as fun as driving one. There are many things that can go wrong that can end up costing you a bundle. But if you learn about the buying process beforehand, you can make smarter decisions and save you a lot of money.

1. Take Notes After Each Test Drive
After test driving a car, take notes on how it felt (handling, braking, acceleration etc.). Also take note of the interior space and overall comfort. Was there anything strange or unexpected? Write it down so you can remember it later. You might also want to consider taking along a digital camera to take pictures and video of each car. You can upload the videos and pictures to get second opinions from your friends.

2. Buy At The End Of The Month
Car salespeople track their sales by the month, which means they will sell harder at the end of the month than any other time. You as a buyer are in a better position to buy at this time.

3. Add Up The Extra Costs
The sticker price for a car is only the beginning. Consider additional costs and add them all up to get a better idea of the total cost of your car. Some common additional costs include gas, insurance, depreciation, maintenance, repairs, licensing, registration, taxes, financing, delivery, addons, and accessories. Be realistic when estimating each cost and you'll be able to set a budget that fits your means.

4. Learn More About Safety Features
Some common safety features to look for are Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, and Anti-lock Brake Systems. Many of these features come standard or as options. If you can choose, buy the optional safety features. The financial and physical cost of getting into an accident dwarf the cost of adding a few extra safety features.

Another important thing to consider is a car's crash test rating. You can find the crash test ratings for most cars at safercar.gov. Each car is given a 0 to 5 star rating for frontal, side, and rollover crash tests. The site is overflowing with useful safety information and because it's a government website, it is completely ad free.

5. Negotiate Aggressively
Negotiating a lower price can be the most important part of making a new car purchase. Bringing the price down a few thousand dollars can be far more effective than getting a lower interest on a car loan. Think of it this way. Negotiating more aggressively for an hour can result in a savings of a few thousand dollars. How long does it take for you to earn a few thousand dollars from your job? Surely more than an hour. Also, be prepared to simply walk away if any negotiation isn't going your way. It's your money so you should do your best to protect it.

6. Build Good Rapport With Your Salesperson
Building good rapport with your salesperson can benefit you in many ways. If your salesperson is more comfortable talking with you, he/she won't mind letting you take longer test drives and might give you a lower purchase price. Building good rapport is completely free and can go a long way.

7. Bring A Friend Along
If you have a car enthusiast in your circle of friends, invite him/her to come along when you go test drive cars. It's more enjoyable with someone else you know and can help you make a more informed choice. Just keep in mind that sometimes car enthusiasts can have strong biases towards certain brands or types of cars. Do some research on your own and find what suits your needs best.

8. Buy Addons And Accessories After The Purchase
Buying addons and accessories can end up costing too much for two reasons. The first reason is that addons and accessories aren't always completely necessary, but people buy them anyway. To avoid making this mistake, give yourself a week or two and get used to the car and see if you really need a certain addon or accessory. This will help you make less impulsive decisions that can cost a lot of money. The next reason why addons and accessories can cost so much is because the prices of these items are marked up at the time of purchase. After market parts are usually much cheaper and can easily be found online.

9. Take Your Time
An impulsive shopper is a salesperson's dream. Take your time when you consider what car to buy and don't be fooled when you're told things like: "This car might not be here tomorrow" or "This is a limited time deal". If your salesperson says any such thing, do yourself a favor and walk away. Being hasty will make it easier for a salesperson to manipulate you into making costly mistakes.

10. Research Using Free Online Resources
There are hundreds of sites, forums, and resources that cater to new car buyers that are completely free. Some of the bigger sites include kbb.com, edmunds.com, and cars.com. If you have a specific question about a certain brand or model, search for an online forum for that particular brand or model and ask your questions there.

If you take your time and follow these steps, you will have an easier and less stressful car buying experience. It does take time and effort, but once you take the first ride in your new car, it will all be worth it.

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