“When should I buy a car?” is a popular question.
The most straightforward response is that you can purchase a car before you need one.
If you drive your current vehicle until it breaks down or leaves you stranded, you’ll not only have a vehicle with little trade-in value, but you’ll also be forced to buy a car without having the opportunity to properly study your purchase and financing.
Exploring user forums for your vehicle’s model will reveal when others are experiencing significant component failures. If you’re approaching one of those mileage thresholds and thinking about buying a new vehicle, you should do so as soon as possible.
Many car salespeople will try to persuade you to buy something right away, so be prepared with details about the vehicles you’re interested in, your budget, and the value of your trade-in if you have one.
You now have all of the information you require to effectively negotiate.
Here are 8 tips and strategies to help you get the best vehicle at the best price.
⦁ Think about financing
Have an idea of how much of a deposit you can put down and how much of a monthly payment you can handle before visiting any dealership.
It’s also a good idea to do some research on available car loans to see what you’re eligible for. Alternatively, you might use a service like AutoGravity, which allows you to choose rates and conditions that suit your budget before receiving offers from lenders.
⦁ Check your credit score
It’s also beneficial to know your credit score.
“Having a good understanding of your credit report and credit score, as well as the available interest rates, will help you secure a good deal and save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars,” says Justin Lavelle, chief communications officer for Been Verified.
⦁ Shop Around
Instead of walking into a dealership unprepared, do some research on the vehicles you’re interested in.
Use tools to figure out what kind of car you want. You can check for everything from “best cars for families” to “best used cars under $10,000.”
⦁ Price Comparison
You can get a flurry of phone calls, emails, and texts from dealers right away, but getting details from several dealerships may aid in price negotiations.
You can also check for rebate deals on distributor websites.
⦁ Find out how much your trade-in is worth.
Don’t wait for the salesperson to tell you how much your trade-in is worth. You can get a sense of the value ahead of time on Kelley Blue Book, so you know if you’re getting a good deal.
Alternatively, you can use the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer feature, which allows you to get a fixed price for a trade and avoid the hassle of haggling at the dealership.
⦁ Probable transactions should be checked out.
If you’re familiar with a specific make and model, you may want to skip the test drive, but Lavelle recommends doing it anyway.
It’s a good idea to check the car and take it for a test drive to make sure everything works and there are no audible squeaks, rattles, or shimmies that could cause you headaches after your purchase.
⦁ Examine car histories
Before visiting a dealership, look up customer feedback to prevent a poor experience. Just because a car is on a well-known, well-reviewed lot does not guarantee that it is problem-free.
As a result, dig deeper, particularly when it comes to used cars.
⦁ Be aware of your legal rights
Take the time to learn about the warranties and return policy on every new or used vehicle.
Is it necessary to extend the warranty? Is your state governed by a lemon law? There are currently only six states that have one, so double-check.
Shopping for a car can be intimidating, but with proper research and planning, you will not be disappointed.