What to look out for before buying a car
Purchasing a vehicle can be very tricky and stressful. The variety of cars out there is endless, which makes finding the one you truly want and need even more complicated. So how do you make the right automotive choice? Once you decide on the size of your desired car, depending on your functional needs and personal tastes, these are some of the important things you will want to take into consideration before putting the key into the ignition.
Narrow down your type
No, we aren't talking about dating here. Because of the extensive range of vehicles available on the market today, deciding what type of car you want is the ideal starting point. Are you looking for a brand new vehicle to take out on the road, or are you on a budget and would rather settle for a second-hand option? Would you prefer a powerful front or rear-wheel drive? Maybe an alternative fuel vehicle, like a hybrid or an electric car? Or do you want to opt for a simple, sensible car? The choice is yours.
Research available dealers
Finding a reliable dealer is essential. Buying your new car from someone who is cooperative and fair will definitely save you money, and plenty of headaches. If finding online reviews and information about available dealers is difficult, especially if they are exclusively local, don't underestimate the power of word of mouth. Get a hold of people you know and trust, and ask for their opinion. This will also increase the pool of auto dealers you can get in touch with. One of them might have your dream car in their showroom!
Create a features checklist
Keeping track of every single feature of every single car you're shown is close to impossible. Instead of writing notes or lists, or attempting to remember everything yourself, be sure to keep a comprehensive checklist. There are many online sources that can help you create this checklist. Decide which interior and exterior features you want your future car to definitely include, and have the list on you whenever you visit a new showroom or dealer.
Get as many quotes as possible
It doesn't hurt to widen your car-browsing horizons. Apart from visiting multiple showrooms and seeing multiple varieties of your preferred type of vehicle, get those quotes. Compare the prices and don't settle for the first one or two offers. Getting as many quotes as possible will increase your knowledge on what the market is offering, and prepare you for when a quote is not obviously unreasonable at face value.
Prioritise safety, insurance and warranty
These are the three magical words you need to keep in mind during your automotive search. An acceptable level of safety, an affordable yet comprehensive insurance plan, and a good quality factory warranty are all indispensable. No matter what car you end up getting, it will undoubtedly need to be maintained or repaired in due course. So, if you tick all three of the above essentials, you'll have less to worry about in the long term.
Keep an eye out for rebates
As a vehicle buyer, you might easily qualify for rebates you never even knew about because they aren't publicly available. It's not always the case, but dealers can be known to conceal from buyers knowledge of certain rebates. Research different manufacturers' websites, and ask any car enthusiasts you know for advice. Being aware of all the rebates you are qualified for will help you realise when dealers are trying to keep rebates for themselves for additional profit.
Time your purchase
At the end of the month, dealers often accept lower offers to reach their goals. This is especially evident during the Christmas period, for instance. If you're not picky about getting the latest and greatest vehicle in the range, the end of a particular model's year is a great time to get good deals on what's left in the showroom. And lastly, don't feel you have to rush into it. Visit the showroom, take the car you like for a test drive, set an appointment with the sales manager if necessary, and go back home to do your research before taking your final decision.
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