When it comes to rites of passage, buying your first car is still a big one; and when you are making a significant decision of this magnitude, it is not something that you will want to rush into. Like anything in life, you are much more likely to achieve success if you have done proper planning and preparation. There is plenty that you need to keep in mind before you head out to look around car showrooms. In this blog post, we will share with you a few top tips for success which are designed to simplify this process and make it feel just a little bit less daunting.
Assess Your Needs First
Before you do anything else, you should work out what your needs are. If you are driving a car mainly by yourself and you don’t have to travel on any difficult terrains, do you really need to invest in a 4×4? Similarly, if you need to transport a family around with you, it is unlikely that a sports car is really going to fit your priorities well at all. If you don’t know what your needs are in the first place, you are much more likely to drive away a car which simply isn’t right for you.
Set Yourself a Budget
The next step that you need to take is to set a budget to determine exactly how much you have to set aside to spend on your car. Remember that the expenses of a car can go far beyond that bottom line figure and that include maintenance, fuel, repairs, tax, and Insurance. Are you planning on financing the car yourself or are you looking at other options such as loans for car finance guarantor? Once you have your budget firmly in mind, make sure that you aren’t talked into upping your budget by a pushy car salesperson.
Look Far and Wide
Unlike the olden days that have gone by, you are no longer limited in your car search of going to the nearest car showroom and accepting whatever deal the car salesperson has to offer. The internet is an invaluable tool which allows you to research numerous makes and models, as well as the prices that you can expect for each and every one of them. The quality of used cars has also increased significantly, and there are plenty of second-hand car showrooms which offer certain assurances when it comes to the checks that they have had to go through. You can also get a number of different quotes so that you can be more certain on the price which is right for you.
Take a Test Drive
While you may have seen a car which looks perfect on paper or on a web screen, you will never get a proper feel of it until you actually take it out for a spin. Not only will you get a better idea of exactly how it performs, but you will also get a fuller impression of how you feel behind the wheel. And if you try out multiple cars, you can compare and contrast to determine which one is best for you. If possible, you should try to test drive all the cars that you are looking at on the same day so that can get the best idea of which one suits your needs a driving style best.
Compare and Contrast the Data
As the way you feel when you’re behind the wheel is more of an emotional response, it is also important to get your scientific head on so that you can analyse some of the facts and figures. So, if you are planning on investing in a brand new car, this revolves around getting the very best price possible. Don’t be swayed by all the ‘extras’ which are thrown into the equation. Salespeople are trying to encourage you to make a snap decision rather than one which is based on logic and sound reasoning. On the other hand, if you are looking at used vehicles, you should be comparing the miles on the clock, accident reports, internal and external condition etc. Make sure that you ask plenty of questions and don’t go through with the deal unless you are entirely satisfied that each and every one of them has been answered thoroughly.
Negotiate the Sale Price
Negotiation is a central aspect of buying a new or used car. Both the car salesperson and yourself should expect some back and forth to take place and if you are not comfortable doing the negotiation yourself, you could always look into bringing someone along with you. If you can’t reach an acceptable agreement with the seller, walk away. Remember, you are not the one who is under pressure here. There are numerous other car retailers who would be more than happy to accept your business. Of course, you still need to be realistic in the price that you are trying to achieve. As long as you have done sufficient research, the negotiation process shouldn’t be an uphill task for you.
Following the top tips above might help you out significantly when you make your first car purchase. Not only will you be able to find the vehicle that is just right for your needs, but you will also get the right price for it. Ultimately, your best course of action is to take your time and not be rushed into making a decision which is simply not right for you. Remember that you still have all the other associated costs of owning a car to deal with once you drive it home!