5 Things You Should Know Before You Buy a Car

5 Things You Should Know Before You Buy a Car

Posted on Friday, August 11, 2017

Before buying, have a plan.

What should you do before you buy a car? Many car shoppers are not sure where to start. So, before you head to the dealership, here are a few things you should know.

What Is The Full Cost?

You should not just look at the MSRP when shopping for the car, but also the various costs associated with it. Contact insurers for quotes on the various cars you might be considering, look up your state’s excise taxes for cars, and ask dealers about associated costs and option pricing. These costs can sneak up on you, if you let them. Get a handle on them before you buy. Similarly, with used cars, get a sense of the Blue Book value and ensure that it aligns with the price you are being quoted.

What Financing Can You Get?

Remember, the car and the financing you use to buy it are two entirely separate products. Dealerships can offer financing, but they may not be able to get you the best financing for your needs. Shop around for quotes and get a sense of how much you can secure and how well it fits into your budget. This can also help you know exactly how much car you can buy before you talk to a salesperson. Armed with this information, you will not have to haggle over the financing.

What Is Your Car’s History?

Used vehicles will have a Carfax report, which is always worth seeing to investigate the car’s past. You should also have any used car independently inspected by someone knowledgeable about cars that you can trust.

New cars do not have a history, right? That is not quite true. Look at the past performance of the make and model if you are considering a new car. Have there been a lot of recalls? How does it hold its value over time? What do professional critics have to say about it? Looking at the history of a make and model can tell you a lot about the car you are looking to buy.

Before taking the keys, do your research.

What’s The Warranty?

Any car, new or used, will be under some sort of warranty. For new cars, this is not generally very complex, but it may be much more complicated with a used car. Get a sense of which warranties still apply to the used car you are buying, and what warranties the dealer is offering to go with it. Also be sure to look at the overall language in warranties; do they expire after a set amount of time or miles?

When Do You Test Drive?

Any car, whether new or used, should be test driven before you consider buying it. When test driving, look for mechanical function issues, listen to how the car runs, and, most importantly, get a sense if it is right for you. Put any car you test drive, new or used, through a full mechanical check; test the lights, work the seats, check the doors, and generally put the car through its paces. The more thorough you are, the better.

Buying a car is a lot of work. However, it is work that pays off with the best car for you, at the best price. When you are ready to buy a new or used car, start with the research from CarFoundMe.