What would I know about buying a new car?
The process of buying a new car can be polarizing, you either love it or hate it.
Many consumers enjoy reading and researching the latest makes and models, visiting car dealerships and negotiating with sales people while others simply cringe at the thought.
So for those of us who at times have been a little impulsive and lacked some clarity during the sales process here are 10 tips that just may help alleviate potential long terms headaches.
- It is important to do your research. Take the time to jot down the important aspects of a car you’d like and then tailor the research so you have the confidence to ask the right questions.
- Research the car online and find out what the car should cost. By searching through the car manufacturer’s website, car dealerships, online websites like CarSales and CarsGuide you will get an understanding of the price of the car. This will help you identify if a car sales person is actually offering you a good deal.
- Read blogs from people who have purchased the same car in the past 2 years. This type of research will give you an idea of the performance of the car, the mechanical issues they’ve experienced and the likely resale value of the car.
- If you need to borrow money to purchase the car please include finance and insurance quotes in your research as it will undo the experience of a great deal if you find the finance and insurances costs becomes expensive and poorly structured. It is important to shop around and obtain a number of quotes and not just accept the quotes offered to you by the finance and insurance sales person within the car dealership.
- Think long term. For example, if you buy a car that has a number of electrical components then you need to be aware of the potential repairs and maintenance costs after 5 or so years. The value of a car can diminish very quickly if the costs to maintain significantly increases.
- Think about how much you can really afford by having a budget before you enter into any negotiations.Remember a car sales person is in the business of selling and they are business people just like real estate agents, builders, mortgage brokers, financial planners, web developers and many others. The higher the sale price the more money in their pockets.There is no point having a budget of $25,000 and walking out of a dealership spending $28,900. This is where the research will help because it will provide you with the confidence of asking the right questions, limiting any sales pressure and stop you from reaching for a calculator to ensure you can afford the extras.
- If you have the time, consider selling your trade in privately. Take a look at CarSales and CarsGuide to find out what your car is actually selling for. It could be a great way to put a few extra dollars in your pocket.
- If you are looking at a new car take a quick look at the previous year’s model and compare the prices. If the car is only 12 months old and has low kilometers you might find it to have more value.
- Don’t be afraid or intimidated by sales people. Engage and embrace the challenge.By respecting they have a job to do and the obvious need to sell a car, embrace the negotiations with confidence as you’ve done your research and have a budget to stick to. It doesn’t always have to be a difficult experience.
- If you feel yourself getting agitated and under too much pressure there is nothing wrong with asking for time out. You could ask for some time to go for a walk, have a coffee or even come back the next day. It’s really important to make the right decision as it is much more fun to enjoy the purchase as opposed to having any regrets.
So there’s my 10 point plan to ensure I don’t fall into the same trap again and if any of this resonates with you, please feel free.