Buying a new car isn’t always easy. Everybody makes mistakes and car buyers are no exception. The process of buying a car, new or used, can be overwhelming. Buying a car for the first time can be both emotional and exciting. It’s also likely one of the largest financial commitments you’ll ever make. It’s important to be armed with the appropriate information.
For many, a car is a necessity. Most people depend on cars everyday to commute to work, transport children to sports events and get around for pleasure. A car is an important aspect in the modern world. And most people want one that’s reliable, comfortable and even a little stylish. Your choices are almost endless and car salesmen are confident, so finding the right combination of wants and needs with an affordable price tag can be challenging.
By preparing for the car-buying process before heading to the dealership, you can avoid some of these common mistakes first-time car buyers often make. Here are five mistakes to avoid when buying a car.
Failing to do proper research
It can be a hard and difficult process if you don’t know what’s available in the car market. This is important when it comes to cars, new or used. The range of options available to you as a buyer can be overwhelming. There are a variety of Ford’s, Volkswagens and used VW Polos for sale at affordable prices. But you have to do proper research to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.
If you go to a dealership without knowing what you want, you’re more likely to end up with something the salesperson wants to sell you rather than finding something you want to buy. By doing a quick and simple internet search you can learn all about the makes and models, their prices and their availability.
Lack of negotiation skills
Many car prices aren’t fixed. Manufacturers’ suggested retail price is the price at which a car is marketed. However, you can buy a car closer to the invoice price than the sticker price but only if you’re able to negotiate. Negotiating with a salesperson can be difficult, especially if you’re a first-time car buyer. To get a good deal, it’s important to let them know you understand the process so they can’t take advantage of you. Convincing a dealership to accept a lower amount won’t be easy but it can be done. As a first time buyer, do your research on the specific car and brush up your negotiating skills. The more you can find out about the car, the better position you’ll be in to get a good deal.
Not checking your personal budget and finances
You should examine your budget with a fine-toothed comb before walking into the dealership. Who will pay for the car? Will you cover all the finances or will your parents help you? It’s wise to know exactly how much you can afford to spend on a monthly car payment, warranties and extras. One of the worst things to do is base your car’s price and payment amount on the advice of the dealership and what they’ll approve you for.
Doing impulse buying
For the car-buying process, everyone can be tempted to buy a luxurious car that doesn't fit their budget. When you see that beautiful SUV with the backup camera, upgraded sound system and leather seats, it’s difficult not to fall in love. But it’s always better to take the time to find the right car rather than rush into an impulse buy. Buying a car is often the largest purchase people make, other than a property of course. With such a huge sale, it’s important that you decide with a level head.
Focusing on monthly payments
Few people walk into a car dealership and plan on writing a cheque or paying cash for their vehicle. This also explains why negotiation almost always revolves around how much you can afford to pay for the car each month. Focusing on a monthly budget is the easiest way to ensure you don’t spend too much on your car. The dealer can do many things to make almost any vehicle fit your budget. They’ll adjust the interest on the interest rate and offer you a longer payment term for the loan. It may seem affordable but even a few extra percentage points up on the interest or an extra year added onto your payment scheme can add thousands of rands to the total cost of your car.
To avoid these five car-buying mistakes, you should give yourself enough time to plan for the process. Unless you’re paying cash for your car, you’ll need to finance it. So save today to accrue enough money for the down payment.