How To Buy A Car
This article was co-authored by Bryan Hamby. Bryan Hamby is the owner of Auto Broker Club, a trusted auto brokerage in Los Angeles, California. He founded Auto Broker Club in 2014 out of a passion for cars and a unique talent for customizing the car dealership process to be on the buyers side. With 1,400+ deals closed, and a 90% customer retention rate, Bryans focus is to simplify the car buying experience through transparency, fair pricing, and world class customer service.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 294,362 times.
Finding and buying a perfect car is not an easy task. There are many decisions to make and factors to take into account, not to mention the rainbow of colours to choose from. The price, of course, has to be a deciding factor, as well as how often you drive the car. Whether you’re buying new or used, from a private seller or a car dealership, knowing what you want ahead of time and being able to walk away are two of the most important things you can do when buying a car. Read on for more information on how to buy a car.
Have You Researched The Trade
Though it is tempting to weigh one with the other, you should keep the trade-in of your old car and the purchase of your new car as separate transactions by getting the trade-in offer before discussing the price of the new car.
Some dealerships will offer you a good trade-in value but will later be less likely to come down on the price of the car you’re buying to compensate. To avoid this;potential;bait and switch, you should know the trade-in value of your current car and decide whether you’d rather sell it yourself or trade it in.
The 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Buying A Car
Modified date: Oct. 16, 2020
Last Saturday I was out to dinner at one of those Japanese hibachi places. Over a scorpion bowl, I was talking to a friend who works as a sales manager at a luxury car dealership. He was mulling over getting out of the industry becauseas you might imaginecar shoppers arent the nicest people to deal with every day.
Customers log on to Kelly Blue Book once and think they know everything about the car business, he said. The minute they walk in the door they hate us just because were trying to make a profit.
Regardless of how ruthlessly youve ever negotiated with a car dealership, you have to admit its odd that were so loath to pay car dealerships a profit. After all, we will happily pay a department store a markup on clothes and realtors a commission when we buy a home.
Yet last week, I asked my focus group about their experiences buying cars, including their biggest fears when they think about the process. Out of 50+ responses, the majority shared a singular theme. Heres a sample:
- Getting ripped off on price.
- Overpaying because I am a woman and the salesman would take advantage of that. I am not good at negotiating.
- I didnt want to get screwed over on the price.
- Getting screwed.
- Getting ripped off.
- Getting ripped off by a salesman. Paying too much.
- That the salesman would try to intimidate me into paying too much or push me into something I didnt want.
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Dont Buy The Extended Warranty
The extended car warranties dealerships offer are expensive. Even worse, the coverage is often very limited and doesnt cover the costs of many types of mechanical failure in new or used cars.
If youre buying a new car, it should come with a manufacturers warranty that provides ample coverage for your vehicle. If youre looking at a used car, keep in mind that many still have valid manufacturers warranties.
You especially want to avoid the extended warranty if youll be financing it as part of your car loan. The total cost of the warranty, including interest, will be exorbitant. Your best option is to simply deposit that money in a savings account for potential vehicle repairs and maintenance.
Revealed: The Cheapest Cars To Run
To save you time and energy trying to work this out, car experts have already done this research. You can compare running costs of different models, including the ones you’re looking to buy, on several sites, including;Parkers;and;What Car?. But, follow these rules to home in on the cheapest cars:
Smaller engines can be cheaper.;The choice of a 1.0-litre or a 2.0-litre engine isn’t just about pure horsepower. A large engine will usually burn more fuel than a smaller one. So engine size is a vital consideration if fuel economy is an important factor in your decision.
Of course, this depends on how you use the car. A small engine is most efficient when it’s used as intended, such as to pootle around town. If a small engine is used a high speed, it’ll need to work much harder to keep the car moving burning more fuel.;
Petrol cars tend to be cheaper than diesel.;Diesel engines are often more economical than their petrol counterparts. But don’t be fooled into thinking this definitely makes diesel a better option. These cars are more expensive, and they usually cost more at the pump than petrol. We’ve;looked at this more closely below.;
Check its CO2 emissions, as they affect the duty you pay.;Buyers of the most polluting cars pay the most road tax.
Apart from a minority of electric cars that produce zero carbon-dioxide emissions, all new cars now attract vehicle excise duty from day one. See a full list of;vehicle excise duty rates.
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Research Vehicles And Features
Not sure what vehicle you want yet? The Edmunds app and website have just about all the information you need, including expert and owner reviews, vehicle invoice prices and new car deals.
If you need some guidance on where to begin, our editors have created rankings for nearly all vehicle categories, which will help you quickly identify the top vehicles in their respective classes.
Automaker sites are useful for seeing more photos and learning more about features and options on vehicles. Use these tools and you should have little problem selecting the right car or SUV. Once you have a short list, it’s time to figure out how you’ll pay for the car.
The Best Time Of The Month To Buy A Car
If you dont need to buy a car within the next week, consider shopping around for a full month to see when and where you can get the best deal. Many experts recommend buying a vehicle closer to the end of the month. This advice is based on the idea that salespeople may be trying to meet monthly quotas and will therefore be more likely to offer a good deal.;
If youre shopping for a new car, Kelley Blue Book recommends checking the incentives on a vehicle at the beginning of the month. Once youve priced the vehicle online,head to the dealership between the 16th and 20th to shop and then negotiate and make your purchase during the last two or three days of the month.;
The experts at TrueCar agree that you can expect to find greater savings after the 20th of each month. Exceptions include holidays that fall earlier in the month such as Presidents Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.;
Unfortunately for buyers, sales reports arent necessarily always due at the end of the month, which means you may not always get the deal youre expecting after the 20th.;
There may be certain situations where a dealer may be trying to reach a sales incentive level by the last day of the reporting period, which wont necessarily be the end of the month, says Clark. There may be an extra desire on their part to move a vehicle then. But as a consumer, youre not normally going to know what those specific needs of a dealer are.
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How To Get The Best Price On A New Car
Thomas J. Brock is a CFA and CPA with more than 20 years of experience in various areas including investing, insurance portfolio management, finance and accounting, personal investment and financial planning advice, and development of educational materials about life insurance and annuities.
Buying a new car can be a difficult process. There are many options out there, and varying prices online and at different dealerships. There are also oftentimes multiple different payment options and financing choices. All of this can make buying a new car an overwhelming decision.
When shopping for a new car, you want to make sure that you get the best price, and there are certain ways to do so. But forget about spending hours negotiating with salespeople. If you use these tips, you can get the best price before you even enter the showroom and remove some of the stress that comes with making such a big decision.
My Local Dealership Is Having A Labor Day/memorial Day/4th Of July/hanukkah Blowout Sale Is This A Scam
While those huge blowout sale days might seem more like slick advertising than anything else, they actually offer solid savings if you choose to buy then.
According to Autotrader.com, many car companies offer cash-back deals and good financing for holiday weekends which allows the dealers to take advantage and try to lure you in to buy a car with sales.
So instead of heading to your buddys BBQ for Labor Day weekend, you might want to make a trip down to the car dealer to see what sweet deals you can snag. Then, of course, go to the BBQ after in your new ride.
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Best Holiday Weekends To Shop For A Car
- Black Friday See Black Friday Car Deals
On these holiday weekends, automakers will typically conduct flashy promotions with better-than-average cash rebates and other incentives.
For their part, dealerships get into the game with special advertising of their own. During holiday weekends, they may be more receptive to negotiations as they endeavor to boost sales so they can recover the added advertising expense.
Dont Give The Dealership Your Car Keys Or Your Drivers License
It is almost as anachronistic as a pocket watch, but some dealershappily fewer than ever before, according to Christopher Sutton, vice president of automotive retail at J.D. Powerstill engage in tactics designed to keep you in the showroom until a deal is made. A couple of the tried-and-not-so-true tactics revolve around test-drive vehicles. Before a test drive, the salesperson might ask for your car keys and/or your drivers license as security. Then, when you return and want to leave without buying, the car keys or the license will go missing. We dont see it that much anymore, Sutton told us, referring to abusive dealer tactics. And I think the advent of ratings and reviews online . . . has contributed to that.
Yes, a wise dealership needs to determine that you have a valid driver’s license before allowing you to take a car out for a test spin, but they don’t need to take it from you and hold it as some sort of deposit. It should be enough for them to know your identity and your address. Since you have typically parked your own car at the dealership, there is the strong likelihood you will return. Further, when you go on the test drive, it is obviously good for you to have your driver’s license in your possession.
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Do You Need Awd Or 4wd
Unsurprisingly, the answer to the AWD vs. 4WD debate is that it depends on where you live and what kinds of driving conditions you encounter, as well as personal taste.
AWD can be found in cars, trucks and SUVs of all sizes, from compact to full-size, giving you the widest possible range of vehicles to choose from. It delivers increased traction under normal winter conditions or light off-roading and provides the fewest compromises in ride and fuel economy on dry roads. And it has the advantage of either powering all four wheels on a continuous basis or automatically controlling which corner gets the torque, taking the decision-making process out of the driver’s hands.
4WD might be the better choice for those who live in remote areas, need to work in extreme weather conditions, or enjoy off-road adventuring. This system often comes in trucks and SUVs with higher ground clearance than average, making them well-suited to managing deep snow, rocky terrain and steep grades, as well as carrying or towing heavy loads. In addition, the models with part-time 4WD and low- and high-range features give the driver the greatest amount of control over where and how the power is delivered.
States Without Sales Tax
Avoiding sales tax can be incredibly beneficial to your car purchase, but it’s only possible in some states according to Wide Open Roads. Alaska, Montana, Oregon, Delaware, and New Hampshire have no statewide sales tax. You’ll note that these states also generally correspond to the states with the lowest unexpected fees.
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Find Financing Warranties And Insurance
Financing Your Vehicle
With the buzz surrounding zero-percent financing deals, you may have the urge to rush to your dealership to apply for that terrific interest-free loan. Unfortunately, what you may find is that, along with roughly two-thirds of all other consumers, you may not have a sufficient credit rating that will qualify you for the loan or the offer. The alternative will be a different loan at a higher interest rate. At that point, the excitement of driving off the lot immediately may tempt you to take that higher interest rate, just so you can have that shiny new car. You should resist that temptation.
Additionally, a credit rating that is far below-par indicates a person who has had difficulty making payments in the past, and that increased risk to the lender is reflected in the higher interest rate to the borrower. Remember, its always wise to shop for the lowest-interest car loan before you make the deal. But if your credit rating is not good, you shouldnt be shopping for a new car in the first place.
If you have a good credit rating, be sure to check what finance incentives the manufacturer is offering. But be aware that many interest-free financing offers may require shorter terms, which will result in higher monthly payments.
With low interest rates, an array of incentive options and the competitive advantage of online financing, you have more tools than ever at your disposal when it comes to making a smart vehicle purchase.
Inspection And Test Drive
Give the vehicle a thorough visual inspection of the exterior, interior and engine to see if there are any signs of damage. If everything looks okay, ask to take it for a test drive to make sure that it feels comfortable and operates smoothly. If they do not let you inspect the car or take it for a test drive, consider that a red flag that theyre not being honest with you.
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Is Now A Good Time To Buy A Car
Many people want to buy cars this summer, but limited supplies are pushing up prices for new and used cars alike. If you’re in the market, you may find it’s difficult to get a good deal or find the exact vehicle you want. And, unless you need a new vehicle right away, it might make more sense to wait.
Diesel Cars Are More Fuel Efficient But Won’t Be Worth It For Most
Diesel engines are often more fuel-efficient than their petrol counterparts and this remains true for most, even after the VW emissions scandal. But don’t be fooled into thinking this definitely makes diesel a better option. These cars are more expensive, and they usually cost more at the pump than petrol. The price of diesel can take years to claw back.
Both offer their own advantages and remember that fuel prices fluctuate, so check these at the time of buying.
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Best Time Of Year To Buy A Car
Some of the premier sales promotions, and incentives aren’t limited to particular days or weeks on the calendar, but rather specific intervals related to the auto industry. When is the best time of year to buy a car? Generally, it’s when sales reps make last-ditch efforts to meet their quotas and dealerships look to get rid of the old inventory to make room for the new models coming down the pike.;
Auto dealerships and associates have set sales goals for each month, quarter, and year period. Often, they receive incentives and bonuses based on meeting those quotas. The closer it gets to the end of each period; the more determined sellers get to meet expectations. A salesperson might accept less commission if it gets them closer to a monthly bonus. A dealer is more apt to approve a lower sale price if it pushes them over their quarterly projection.;
The new year might start on January 1, but auto manufacturers run on a unique schedule. Automobile rollouts vary from model-to-model. Some go on sale in the summer, selling alongside the older ones, while others come out later in the fall. Either way, you’re likely to save more money buying an outgoing model rather than a newly redesigned car .;