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Today I’m going to be sharing car buying tips for the ladies. For many of us, taking care of the home also includes taking care of our mode of transportation. And if we don’t have one, that can create an even larger issue. If this is your first time buying a car, you may be lost on where to get started. It may look like an intimidating process, with figuring out what to buy, where to go, how to pay for it, and how to deal with pushy car salesmen. However, purchasing a car can be a simple process if you’re prepared. Here are some tips to help walk you through the car buying process.
Know Your Budget
The first place you should start when shopping for a car is figuring out how much you can spend. Unless you’re fortunate enough to pay cash for your vehicle, then you’ll probably have to make monthly payments. To figure out how much you can afford to pay each month, take a look at your budget to see how much money you have available after your expenses. If you’re planning on leveraging a vehicle for trade, you should check out it’s market value so you know how much you should be able to get for it, which can help lower your monthly payments.
New, Used, or Lease
When you meet with a car dealership, they’re likely going to want to know what you’re looking for. While purchasing a new car is a viable option for those who want to own their car a long time and wish to have equity, others may opt for a used car to save some money. If you’re the type of person whose tastes tend to change or you don’t want to commit long-term to anything, you may want to consider a lease. Just be aware that there are sometimes costs at the end of the lease should you dive more miles than allocated within the terms.
Prioritize your Vehicle Needs
Before you head to a dealer, take some time to research vehicles to figure out what’s best for you. You should make a list of your wants and needs to help determine which vehicle may be a good fit. Some things to consider are vehicle size, fuel economy, and transmission type. List out the things you absolutely need and others you’d like to have and bring it with you to the dealership to make the shopping process easier.
There are plenty of car dealerships out there who want your business, but not all of them may be right to do business with. Go with your gut feeling. If it doesn’t feel right, walk away. There is ALWAYS another deal, another car. There are some excellent car dealers out there and some less reputable ones who may take advantage of a first-time car buyer. Check out dealers online to see who has a good reputation and who to steer clear of. Read forums and reviews and ask friends who they’ve had a pleasant experience with and make a list of a few you’re willing to visit. You should try to go to a few dealers when car shopping to be sure you’re getting the best deal.
Test Drive Vehicles
You should never purchase a vehicle without taking it for a test drive first. You want to be sure you enjoy the feel of the vehicle and the way it drives. Check out the seats, tires, throttle and control, fuel economy, and engine to be sure it has everything you’re looking for. If it’s a used car, check the vehicle’s history to be sure it hasn’t been in any accidents. Ask for the Carfax. If you aren’t satisfied with a test drive or something feels off about a vehicle, don’t feel pressured to buy it.
Purchase and Insure
Once you’ve found the perfect vehicle and have agreed on a price that’s comfortable for both you and the car salesman, it’s time to purchase and insure your new vehicle. Some dealers offer financing right through their dealership, while others will want you to come with a note from the bank stating that you’re able to secure financing through them. I recommend obtaining a quote for financing before going to the dealer. This can be used as a bargaining tool when negotiating with the dealer finance department. You should also check with your local insurance agency to see how much insurance will be and let them know you’re getting a new vehicle. Once you’ve secured financing and insurance on your car, it’s ready to take it home.
With some research, knowing what you want, and taking the time to meet with dealerships to find the right vehicle, your first car buying experience should be fun and painless. Remember, once you’ve purchased your vehicle to conduct routine maintenance on it so it stays in great shape.