There are thousands of options when it comes to picking out a new car, and finding your perfect match isn’t always easy. Start by narrowing down your options — figure out how much space you’ll need, if you’re more interested in fuel economy or power, and if there are any must-have features on your list.
Begin tracking the costs of your current car, such as insurance, registration, fuel and maintenance; this can help you get an idea of where you currently stand and how much you can afford. This free auto loan calculator can help you estimate your car payments.
The test drive will truly give you a feel for whether or not a car is right for you and may help to avoid issues. For example, you might discover large blind spots, or an uncomfortable seating position. It’s important to take your time with this step, and you should never feel pressured by the salesperson to buy the car immediately. Be upfront about how you’re still comparing different models, and don’t feel forced to make your purchase at that moment; a lower price and better financing may be available elsewhere.
Once you’ve decided which car you’d like to buy, it’s time to see what offers are available to you. Before you jump on one, make sure you brush up on your negotiation skills. Simply knowing a car’s market value can make you a better negotiator; there are many websites that can assist you in researching the numbers. At the dealer, try to keep your emotions in check and be ready to leave if you feel pressured or the pricing doesn’t match your research. Finally, when you’re ready to make a deal, make sure the numbers in the sales contract match the agreed-upon price, and question anything unexpected.