Buying and driving a new car is a dream many people have. However, the process of buying one can be anxiety-inducing for some people because they do not know what to do, say or expect once they get there. The best way to go about it is arming yourself with as much information and knowledge as possible and being prepared before you go. You can then walk into a dealership with enough confidence since you already have the information and know what you need. In this article, we will look at a few things you need to do and know before you walk into a car dealership.
Know What You Want
A common mistake new car buyers make is only knowing the vague details of what they need. Because they do not have a set car in mind, they can fall prey to sales pitches that convince them to drive away with a car they may not like in a few months.
The dealership is the wrong place to start your car search unless you are just checking out what is available and have no intentions of closing any deals. Smart shoppers start with hours of online and personal research to see what cars are available, compare reviews and speak to experts to learn everything they can about the cars they are interested in.
Some dealerships also allow you to see the prices available online and to negotiate a deal before you walk into the dealership. This is a great way to avoid falling prey to salespeople as you will walk in there knowing what you want and how much you can get it for.
Calculate a Monthly Budget
Every car buyer should know how much they can afford to pay monthly. This is the amount you can comfortably part with without it affecting other parts of your life drastically. Once you know how much you can spare for a car payment, keep this number secret.
You should always negotiate the actual cost of the car with a dealer without disclosing the monthly payment number you have in your mind. Once you get a price you can agree to, use one of the available apps to calculate the monthly payment using the loan balance after the down payment, interest, and terms. If that number falls outside your range, you can always try to renegotiate.
The reason you do not tell a salesperson the monthly payment amount you have in mind is that they are likely to push you towards a longer payment plan with the same monthly payment. Although the amount you pay monthly will not change, you will end up with a more expensive car and a longer repayment period which means you end up paying more overall.
Factor in Your Insurance
Your insurance will be a monthly or annual payment you have to think about, and it is important to factor it in when thinking about your monthly amount. Many people make the mistake of negotiating a great deal only to find insuring the car will be more expensive than they thought or are comfortable paying.
Check with different insurers to see the amount you would have to pay for different cars depending on your driving record, credit score and other factors. You can also use a comparison site to get quotes for your location, such as this site which provides car insurance in Northern Ireland. If the insurance premium is too high for the car you want, try going for one with a smaller engine, with fewer trims or an older model.
Look Outside Dealer Financing
Dealerswill often offer very lucrative financing deals with zero down payment and low interest rates. However, reading the fine print could reveal that these terms apply to a specific buyer for a few months, after which the terms become predatory. It is always best to find financing before walking into a dealership. Doing so will help you avoid any pitches for dealership financing. Go to your bank, credit union or another lender with favourable terms. Ensure you get preapproval for the amount you want so you have something to compare against what the dealer offers.
Always read all the documents put in front of you as well as the terms of any financing you get whether from the dealership or a lender.
Buying a car is often nerve-racking unless you are prepared and well-informed. Knowing as much as you can before walking into a dealership will ensure you get the right car, with the right financing and at a monthly rate you can afford.