Over the years, I have noticed that there are two areas of life that people just act like they just
“know what they are doing.” The ironic thing is that these two areas are also the two largest
areas of investment that people make in a lifetime – house buying and car buying.
People don’t mind training for most things. We have training for our careers. We train to be a
doctor, an engineer, an athlete, and even a teacher. They have courses for first-time parents,
first-time drivers, first-time marriage counseling, and first-time home buyers.
But there is something about when it is time to purchase a vehicle (car or truck). Then all of a
sudden, we think we were born with the knowledge of how to successfully navigate through the
I have been selling cars and trucks, professionally, for more than a decade. And I will tell you
that most buyers do not know what they are doing when purchasing a vehicle. And this “not
knowing” can prove to be awfully expensive…I’m talking thousands of dollars!
When it comes to any matter in life, I believe that knowing something is okay. What’s not okay is
not trying to learn a subject that relates to your life. We can’t afford to just assume things. We
make decisions in life based on the knowledge that we have. The knowledge that we have
comes from the information that we have obtained.
If we have little to no information about a subject, or even “bad” information, then we have little
to no knowledge about that subject. And when this is the case, we make bad decisions.
There is nothing to prove that we just automatically “know” how to buy a car. The car buying
process changes periodically which means that chances are that if you are buying a car the
same way your parents bought a car when they were young, you are making some mistakes.
If you are practicing techniques that your friends used when they bought vehicles, and they
never learned the best practices, chances are that they made mistakes and you are about to
duplicate their errors and you will get stuck with the “bill.”
So how do we overcome not knowing how to purchase vehicles properly? Like everything else,
we must learn the proper way(s). With all the free public information available online, there is
many ways to learn some of the proper techniques to give you a good jump start.
I have been puzzled how many people I know that want to just “go ahead themselves” in the
area of car buying. Like I said earlier, I have been selling vehicles for more than a decade – and
have been pretty successful at it. In fact, I personally have sold thousands of vehicles alone!
Now I have friends and family members that know I am a car salesman, but seldom does my
phone ring when they purchase their vehicles. And when the phone DOES ring, it’s usually too
late in the process to make a difference. Why is this the case? Why do we just assume we know
what we are doing?
I know that my first car purchase (lease) was horrific! I went in with one thing on my mind…the
old proverbial, “I’ll take it if I can get it for $250/month!” Who started that trend? Well, needless
to say, my payment ended up at $250/month. I’m telling me age, but with an open-ended lease,
back in the day, they were able to stick anything in the backend of the deal (balloon payment),
and I was hooked! Yeah, I was hooked on the beautiful 1985 Peugeout STI Turbo that I went
home with, but I was also “hooked” like a fish on a deep-sea fishing trip! I had an undisclosed
balloon payment awaiting me that I won’t discover to way later – years later!
Don’t mind me but I made a similar error of buying my first house with no knowledge. Needless
to say how that turned out when the housing bubble burst! So much for balloons and bubbles.
We must be open to learn important areas of our lives. We can’t assume we just know things.
And we should not assume that the information that we have is current. We must deliberately
search out for current, relevant data about life lessons, especially when that have to the
potential to make a huge impact on our lives – especially financial decisions.
Be open to learn current strategies in the car buying process. Do your own research online!