Whether you're a grizzled veteran of new car sales or someone purchasing your first vehicle, it's wise to take a moment before you start searching for a ride. Here are 5 tips everyone interested in new cars should give some thought to.
Know the Available Vehicles
Make use of the internet to learn about the makes and models that fit your profile. If you're hunting for economy cars, for example, look for real-world reports about actual fuel economy and long-term durability. Someone who wants an off-road beast of a vehicle should check out forums dedicated to that form of driving to learn what people are driving.
Be aware that brand new models may have lots of fun features, but they're often untested. Old standbys that haven't been refreshed in a couple of years are easier to research. If a car just recently went from concept to production, you should only buy it if it represents something you've been excited about for a while.
Get Financing in Order
There's no such thing as a new car dealership that'll be disappointed you have financing already approved. Visit your bank or credit union and ask to speak with a loan officer about your planned purchase. Not only will they help you get the best rate, but you'll then know exactly how much you'll have available to spend.
Look at Long-Term Costs
Vehicles don't just cost money upfront. Even new cars will eventually require attention in the form of oil changes, fuel, tires, and even brakes. If a car takes an expensive synthetic blend of oil, for example, that's going to add up over a lifetime.
Remember that the long-term resale value of the car is often dictated by its long-term costs. Secondary market buyers want vehicles that are easy on maintenance.
Follow the Year-End Sales
Every new car dealership wants to keep doing what its name suggests: selling the shiniest and newest vehicles. That means there's a lot of motivation to get cars off the lot before the model years change over. You may be able to get a better deal on a car if you can afford to wait. Watch the auto news to see when manufacturers are introducing the models you're most interested in, and then go shopping a month or so before the new cars come out.
The sales staff at a new car dealership has some room to negotiate. Also, don't limit yourself to negotiating on price. If you can get a service package or a few nice features to show for the same price, that's a win.
If you are considering buying a new car, know the process before you go in! That way you'll be able to get a great deal.