Buying a new or used vehicle is a big decision — one that has implications for all aspects of your life. It has an impact on your finances. It has an impact on your everyday life as you try to get your kids to school or yourself to work. It’s not a decision to be entered into haphazardly.
As you consider your next automotive purchase, here are some guidelines to consider — including both some things you should do, and a few things we’d recommend against.
Tips for Car Shopping
DO: Research before you head to the dealership.
Thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to read both expert reviews and consumer testimonials about different vehicles. You can also research things like price point, fuel economy, and engine type, narrowing down your list of possible vehicles before you arrive in the showroom.
DON’T: Visit the dealership before you think about financing.
Make a budget, use an online calculator, and consider the options available to you for making your new vehicle truly affordable.
DO: Talk to your insurance agent.
Getting a new vehicle may cause your insurance rate to go up. It probably won’t be by much, but it’s still something to confirm before you make your purchase.
DON’T: Start shopping without knowing your budget and your credit score.
To make an informed decision, it’s critical to know your baseline financial information.
DO: Negotiate each part of your transaction individually.
When you merge the purchase, the trade-in, and the financing into one transaction, it can muddy the waters and make it hard to tell how much you’re really paying. Make clear to your sales representative that you’d like to negotiate these three components separately.
DON’T: Buy a vehicle without test driving it.
There’s never any reason not to take a test drive. Pay attention to how the car feels, how it sounds, and how comfortable you feel as you drive it.
DON’T: Make any final decisions until you’re totally satisfied.
Our sales reps and our finance team all want to make the process as seamless and as low hassle as can be. If you ever have any concerns or lingering questions, we urge you to talk with us rather than push forward. We want to make sure you get exactly the vehicle you want, on terms that work for your budget and your lifestyle.