Sunday, December 3, 2023

What To Know Before Buying A Car

Don't Miss

What To Find Out Before You Go To A Dealership

3 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Car in 2022

Which Safety Systems Are IncludedWhy its important: Even though active safety systems prevent crashes, they arent always included as standard equipment. Some may be grouped into different option packages. Automakers often give them baffling names, too: Audi calls its automatic emergency braking system pre sense front and pre sense city, while Volvo calls its City Safety.

Steps to Take Start your research online. Click on the models on CRs New Cars A-Z page find vehicles that have systems youre interested in and whether theyre standard or optional. Then go to automaker websites to build and price the option packages and trim levels youll need to get the safety features you want.

Double-check once you find the exact car you want. Call the dealership and ask a salesperson which features are on the specific car you plan to buy, says Kelly Funkhouser, manager for vehicle technology at CR. Then cross-check the window sticker to make sure the features you want are listed.

Plan for a safety test drive. Write down a list of the safety-related questions that matter to you so that you remember to get answers once youre at the showroom. Does the car have automatic emergency braking? How clear is the backup camera image? What kind of alert do you get if you engage the turn signal when a car is in your blind spot? Can you customize the sensitivity of these systems?

Questions To Ask When Buying A New Car

A new car does not require any additional checks or verification if you are buying it from the official dealer itself. However, you should always be on the lookout for problems. Therefore, it is always a good idea to conduct a basic check-up before providing the bank details. Here are some questions that will help you understand the deal better :

So there you are! These are some questions you should ask before buying any car from the market. If you still have additional issues, feel free to contact us here for further help! We can, with Carcility!

Know Your Game Plan And Stick To It

Perhaps the most important thing to know when you are about to buy a new or used car is your game plan. You have done all of the necessary research, you have secured your car loan with your preferred lender, you have compared prices, and you have figured out exactly what you have to spend, and something happens to the one car you had your eyes on. That happens, and you can try again.

You May Like: How Long Can My Car Go Without An Oil Change

Do You Need Help Getting A Vehicle Loan Apply Today

As we work together to get through these ever-changing times, let us know how we can help! We haveauto loan options available to help you finance or refinance your dream car. Please give us a call at 800-835-3400 to speak with one of our Member Advisors, or visit us online at for more information. We are here to help you on your financial journey.

Buying A Used Car Privately

What To Know First Before You Buy Your First Car #WhatToKnowFirst ...

If youre on a budget, buying a secondhand car privately can prove to be a much cheaper option than visiting a dealer, but is it the best thing to do?

  • Secondhand cars are usually priced much more cheaply when sold privately than at a dealership and theres often more room for negotiating as the seller isnt attempting to make a profit
  • Buying privately offers a great opportunity to meet the previous owner of the car and get a feel for how well its been looked after. For instance If its clean, with few minor bodywork faults, then its probably been cared for over its life. As most dealers have a professional valeter clean all their cars, its harder to tell how well theyve been maintained
  • Meeting the previous owner also gives you the opportunity to find out their motives for selling it – do they have a genuine reason, or is it a problematic car they want rid of?
  • Some sellers overvalue their cars, and its not unusual to find people asking for similar money for their pride and joy to what it might cost at a dealer, these sellers will usually bring their price down, but it could be a bit of a waiting game
  • Youll need to bear in mind buying privately entitles you to fewer buyers rights than buying from a dealer too, meaning you could have no comeback if the car breaks down on the way home from buying it. You can find out your buyers rights in this section here.
  • Don’t Miss: How To Remove Car Tint

    What Do I Need To Know Before Buying A Car

    Whether youre buying a new or a used car, upgrading from your old vehicle is always satisfying. And if youre a first-time buyer, its a huge milestone in your life.

    Unfortunately, its easy to make mistakes when buying a car. For example, many car buyers upgrade to a new vehicle before theyve paid off their current vehicle. This often leaves them holding debt and paying interest for a car theyre not driving anymore by carrying negative equity into a new car loan.

    So, what do you need to know before buying a car? Here are some helpful tips.

    Check Under The Bonnet


    A dirty engine can point to vehicle neglect. But a sparkling clean engine may be the result of a recent steam clean undertaken to mask defects.

    Look for:

    • frayed or burnt wiring, oil streaks and poorly attached or damaged hoses
    • petrol leaks around the carburettor and fuel lines
    • black soupy oil can indicate a worn-out engine
    • oil leaks or other drips under the car.

    With the engine going:

    • take off the oil filler cap if large amounts of gas come out the engine is badly worn
    • let the engine idle for a few minutes and have a friend watch the exhaust for blue smoke when you push the accelerator. While a single puff is okay, continuous blue smoke means a badly worn engine.


    • leaks, rust or water stains
    • leaks in the radiator hose and where the cylinder head meets the engine block.

    When the engine is cool, remove the cap to check the water:

    • A little rust colour is okay.
    • A green or blue tint from coolant or engine conditioner is okay too.
    • Any oil in the water indicates a major problem.
    • Perfectly clear water won’t tell you much it’s probably just been changed.

    Don’t forget to replace the cap.

    Read Also: What Is A Title For A Car

    How Do You Perform A Proper Test Drive

    A 30-minute test drive is essential to evaluate how a car runs in a realistic setting. Plan a familiar route and test actions you would typically do hit the brakes, put it in park, take a corner, accelerate, merge and change lanes. Get a feel for the cars accessories and ensure they work.

    Get the test drive checklist.

    Know This About Bank Repossessed Vehicles Before Buying One

    12 Things To Check Before Buying A Used Car

    Repossessed Cars

    Buying a repo vehicle is a risky endeavor–both for a car dealer looking to make a profit and for the used car buyer looking for a good deal. If youve ever heard of some of the horror stories of neglect, spite or outright maliciousness by a repossessed homes previous owner, you can imagine the same thing can and does happen on occasion when it comes to repossessed cars.

    With that in mind, here’s an interesting video recently posted by a car dealer who talks about the business of fixing up and selling repossessed vehicles that offers a useful view of what goes on with repossessed cars that eventually make it back onto the sales lot.

    How Bad are Bank Repo Vehicles? Buying and Selling Cars for Profit

    Why This Topic and Video

    The usefulness of this video for someone considering going into the used car business with a focus on bank repossessed cars is that it shows it is tough, demanding work. As the host demonstrated you must have a system in place that is affordable to get a repossessed vehicle into cosmetic selling shape to make a profit.

    The usefulness of this video for the used car shopper is that it is a good reminder that cosmetic work done before being resold can give a misleading impression of just how good of a deal a repossessed car might be. In other words, you can tell a lot about a car and how well it was kept by its appearance when presented as-is in real life.

    Related article: Mechanic Talks Candidly About the Best Used Car You Should Not Buy

    Also Check: Why Is Leasing A Car A Bad Idea

    Figure Out Your Financing Options

    Before you step foot onto any forecourt, whether it is to buy a new car or buy used cars, its always a good idea to take a good long look at your finances. The state that your financial affairs are in will have a huge impact on what you can buy and from where. For instance, you may have been hoping to get a loan or a financing deal, but if you dont have much of a deposit or the amount you can afford for a monthly payment each month is much lower than required for many new car deals, you may have to look at second-hand deals that are overall often cheaper, but will still require hard cash.

    If your finances are in good enough shape, it is then an idea to carry out some market research on the type of loan you can achieve, if you need one at all.

    Research Used Cars And Prices

    You can view local available cars in classifieds and through sites like Edmunds and, according to Jeff Ostroff, consumer advocate and founder of

    Edmunds has a True Market Value pricing tool that shows you what other people in your area have paid for a car, as well as an app with the TMV tool, car calculators, and other useful tools. To help find a reputable dealership, you can read Edmunds reviews of area dealerships.

    Ostroff also recommends visiting eBay to lay the groundwork for later negotiations. “Knowing how much the car has sold for last 30 days on eBay gives you a great haggling advantage because many dealers sell on eBay, so showing them what other dealers have sold this car for this month means they can’t use smoke screens to trick you into a higher price,” he says.

    Read Also: How To Charge A Dead Car Battery

    Things To Know Before Buying A Car Right Now

  • Transaction Price Remains Stable month-to-month while Used Sales Grow. Average transaction price in July while up 12% from a year ago remained about the same as June 2022. Total vehicle sales are down 2% since from June 2022, but used car sales have actually increased 4% over the same period. Seeing that new inventory is still being rocked by chip shortages, an increase in used car sales seems promising for those in need of a new ride and dont have the luxury of waiting it out.
  • Auto Industry Addresses Affordability Concerns. were seeing the first response from the industry to address affordability concerns, by increasing incentives for the first time in nearly 20 months, said Zack Krelle, Industry Analyst at TrueCar. Incentive spend is up toan average of $1,162, which basically means OEMs are trying to make buying a car more enticing for consumers.
  • What’s The Right Car For Me

    Ready for your first, or next, set of wheels? Watch this webinar to ...

    Your needs will determine what kind of vehicle you need.

    • Do you have kids, or plan to start a family soon?
    • Do you find yourself occasionally renting or borrowing a larger vehicle?
    • Do you need to be prepared to drive in inclement weather throughout the year?
    • Do you like to pack your car with friends or rarely have passengers?
    • Do you like a sporty drive?

    Buying a car shouldn’t be an impulse buy. Do your research, know what you want, and know how much you can spend ahead of time.

    Also Check: How To Keep Car Windows From Fogging Up

    Test Drive Potential Purchases

    You may want to pass on the test drive if youre familiar with a particular make and model, but Lavelle recommends taking the time to do it anyway. It is a good idea to inspect the car and give it a good test drive just to make sure all is working and there are no noticeable squeaks, rattles, or shimmies that could cause you headaches after your purchase, he says.

    Used Car History Check

    When buying a secondhand car, its important to find out as much as possible about its history.

    This helps you find what the seller potentially doesn’t want you to know.

    These checks primarily reveal if there are any hidden discrepancies in the car’s history, such as being written off.

    Research suggests as many as one in four cars have a hidden history – this could include it being stolen or written off or having outstanding finance .

    The RAC provides a data check which will provide peace of mind for any secondhand car purchase.

    As well as checking whether the car has been stolen, written off or has outstanding finance, car history checks can also provide the following:

    • Any mileage discrepancies which could reveal if the car has been clocked by having the mileage deliberately wound back as well as
    • Common breakdown reasons by make & model
    • Common MOT failures by make and model
    • An independent car review
    • Average running costs by make and model
    • Car inspection and buying checklists

    It is a good idea to be inquisitive about any car you are looking to buy, and bear in mind even a car history check won’t tell you absolutely everything about a vehicle.

    Ask whoever you are buying a car from about its previous owners to build a picture.

    For instance, has it been used as a pool car by lots of different drivers?

    Has it just had a single company car driver before it went onto the market?

    Also Check: How To Keep Cats Off My Car

    Figure Out What You Want

    First things first: start by getting an idea of what youre looking for. Lisa Copeland, founder of Cars Her Way and host of the Cars Her Way talk show on iHeartRadio, suggested prospective buyers make a list of features theyre interested in, starting with whether theyre looking for a car, truck, SUV, or other body style altogether. From there, consider the basics: manual or automatic? Two- or four-wheel drive? What year, mileage total, and gas mileage ranges would you prefer to stay within? Be sure to take your lifestyle into consideration as well. Think about your current driving patterns, including how often and where you typically travel, as well as how much space youll need for passengers or cargo.

    Dont be afraid to get specific, either. Athena Staton, She.E.O of the online car dealership SheCar, noted that although some may write it off as trivial its OK to place importance on details such as the color. Were instinctive beings, especially women, Staton said. Some people say color doesnt matter. I say it kind of does. There are plenty of cars out there. Dont settle.

    How The Infotainment Tech Works For You

    What to know before buying a used car

    Why its important: As cars become more technologically advanced, drivers face a greater learning curve to master various systems. Dont get stuck with a system thats frustrating to use. Get familiar with the tech on your test drive.

    Steps to Take Check the basics. Can you figure out the buttons, menus, and settings? Systems that are easy to learn in the beginning tend to be less frustrating in the long run, says Funkhouser at CR.

    Dont make any assumptions about the technology the car comes with. Many cars have done away with CD players, older-style USB-A charging ports, and even AM radio tuners.

    Double-check the options list on the car youre buying. Because of the ongoing microchip shortage, some automakers are deleting features that usually come on certain cars, such as satellite radio and parking assistance. You cant always rely on a website or brochure to know what will be included anymore, says Fisher at CR. If a feature is important to you, confirm that its listed on the window sticker. You may not be able to add it later.

    If you have questions later, will there be someone to help you? Some dealerships will help with pairing your phone and other tech tasks.

    Recommended Reading: Where’s The Closest Car Wash To Me

    Expect To Pay More On Used Cars Too

    Car buying may be more of a challenge now, but you should be able to land something you’re happy with.

    Prices are up for used cars as well, but of course buying used is still a more affordable choice than buying new. The average price of a used car hit a high of $28,205 in December 2021, according to Kelley Blue Book. “Values are up 25% to 30% for used cars, Drury says.

    That means, as soon as you spot a listing that intrigues you, get an online appraisal from Blue Book or Edmunds before you even reach out to the seller. If the listed starting price is way beyond what those expert sources suggest, you may want to keep lookingor at least consider how much that vehicle is worth to you.

    More articles

    Popular Articles