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Whether you are buying a new car or a used car, it’s at times difficult to comprehend the right and legal process to buy a car to have a smooth flow in the process and avoid disappointments. Using the wrong process could lead to losses and you’ll hate the shopping experience which should be exciting. We will provide some steps that you could follow to ensure that you have bought the right car for you.
Tips to follow when buying a car
Set Your Budget
When buying a car, you may take out a loan, pay cash or lease a new car. The budgeting process when buying a car by paying cash is very simple. You should however not spend all your savings on this. Have in mind that there are other costs you will need to incur such as registration, sales tax, and insurance.
If you will buy the car using an auto loan, consider the interest rates of the loan, the monthly payment and down payment. Use an auto- loan calculator to get the correct amount. It’s wise to be pre-approved of a car loan to simplify the process as you will be aware of how much you are likely to spend.
Choose the right car
You already have the budget; you can begin the fun of picking a good car for you. In this step, you will have to consider the purpose of the car, consider the size of your family to ensure that you have one with enough room, reasonable cargo space and many more.
Make a list of the features the vehicle should have then find the cars with those features. This has been made easy by automotive sites that have the car finder tool. Narrow down the cars you found depending on your budget and the major features. You can now have at least three models to check-in detail.
Check the ownership costs and reliability
Ensure that the car you have chosen is reliable and have reasonable ownership cost. You may get a cheaper car to buy but end up spending a lot as you use it. This is due to the cost of insurance, repairs, maintenance, and depreciation.
Test-drive the car
Set some time to take a test-drive of the chosen models for better comparison. Consider taking a test-drive when the car dealer is available. You could call ahead and schedule an appointment with the sales manager such that you will get your car model ready to go for the test drive.
Locate your car
You may be lucky enough to find the right model for you with the right color. If you don’t find it, you have to keep checking in your local car dealers until you get what you desire.
To do this, you have to keep widening your search area, especially those with unusual colors or combinations. You can use the sites that cover the entire region, or even the whole country. Checking from the manufacturers may also provide a broader area compared to individual dealerships.
Check for the right price
Find out how much other people are buying for the car you want to buy. The car price could be affected by the options you prefer since aspects such as the color affect the price. Also, find out the incentives and rebates for the car you want to buy. Moreover, check out for offers provided by the manufacturers or the car dealers.
Get dealer quotes
Request the dealers to send you the quotes by email for easy negotiation. Some websites provide an email where you can contact them for all the information that you need and are not provided on the website. Moreover, there are third party sites that provide quotes for multiple dealerships simultaneously. Compare the price given by the dealers and the average market price of the car. in this step, check the type warranty being provided for that car.
Seal the deal
After you are done with the negotiations, review the contract carefully before putting your signature. The contract could include the price that has been agreed upon, the state sales tax, documentation fee, and registration fee. If any fee in the contract can’t be explained exhaustively by the finance manager ask to have it removed.
You can now seal the deal and request the car dealer to have the car delivered to you rather than picking it up. This makes it quick and stresses free. However, some people may go to sign the papers in person hence will need to pick the car by himself or herself. Moreover, the finance dealership may provide a loan with better terms, and even if you have a pre-approved car loan, it doesn’t hurt to check what is on the plate. But, ensure that all the terms of the loan are similar.
How to Buy A Used Car
When buying a used car, you should still follow the above steps. However, there are some considerations to make.
Consider how much you should spend on a used car
When considering the budget of a used car considers the 20/40/10 rule. Thus, you should first pay at least 20% as the down payment, select a car that isn’t more than four years old and the ownership cost of the car should not exceed 10% of the pre-tax income.
Check for the car’s history
This is a vital aspect to consider as the history of the vehicle will prevent you from getting a stolen car, or one that had been involved in a serious accident. The vehicle’s history report is also known as the Carfax report. It’s a comprehensive vehicle history report that ensures that you’re getting a “clean vehicle.” Once you go through the Carfax report keenly, you’ll be safe from getting involved in a problem vehicle, assists in your negotiations and ensures that you are making a worthy investment.
The Carfax report provides
- The title information that shows who owns the car,
- The mileage of the car by showing the last reported by the odometer of the car recorded
- The number of owners. A car with few previous owners is appropriate rather than that with so many previous owners.
- Accident and damage history. It compiles over 100,000 resources to provide a full list of the damages done by the car or the accidents it may have been involved in.
- Ownership type. It shows whether the car was used for lease, for an individual driver or commercial purposes.
- Any recalls or bigger issues. If any part of the car is recalled or that specific vehicle was recalled, that information can be found on the Carfax report.
However, the Carfax report will not show unreported accidents and accidents as repairs.
Find an efficient and reliable car
There are so many options available for you when selecting your desirable car. However, you should consider buying a used car with a brand of good reputation and one that is fit for your family.
Finding used cars in your area
A google search will show you the local dealership in your area that sells used cars. This could be safe and convenient rather than buying it from an individual seller.
Request for a test drive
Before you go to the car dealership and request a drive, call ahead and let them know the model of the car you are interested in and the day you would like to take a test drive. This will ensure that that particular model is available and you will find the car ready for the test drive.
Close the deal
Practice good negotiating skills to give you a good boost when negotiating with the dealership. Be more assertive and consider how much you want to save over time.
How to Buy A Car Online
Buying a new car or a used car online is not an easy process as you can easily get ripped off. The above procedures provided apply very well when buying a car online. Nevertheless, there are three tips that you should consider to ensure that you have bought the car safely.
Be cautious of ridiculously low offers
Some of these cars with such low offers are usually connected to sob stories. Consider the market price of the car to ensure the price provided is reasonable. In most cases, this is usually a scam and you should avoid buying such a car.
Verify that the car exists
Don’t rely on Email communication only but you should get the seller’s phone number and call him. Request the vehicle registration and VIN from the seller to assist you in getting the history of the car from Carfax. Moreover, don’t rely on the photos provided alone, see the car personally and if this is difficult ask the seller to take to your favorable mechanic who will clearly state the condition of the car to you.
Be careful not to provide critical money and personal information
Don’t provide your credit- card or Social Security number. Moreover, a request to send a personal check or wire money could be a scam, don’t do that. It’s advisable to pay cash or arrange with the seller to meet at a bank. Before making any payment, check with the state regulators to ensure that the company is legitimate. In the end, the seller should provide you with the car’s title after you’ve made the payment.
How to Buy A Car From A Private Seller
When also buying a car from a private seller, the tips provided above are very crucial. In addition to checking the vehicle’s history through Carfax, you should consider the following;
- If the seller is the original owner since it would be easy to determine how the car was maintained previously.
- If there have been any liens on the car. A lien shows whether there is any creditor who claims to be owed some money from the car.
- If there have been major repairs. Major repairs are not only caused by the accidents but it can be an engine change or transmission
- Ask the seller why he or she is selling the car. If the seller is not providing good reasons for selling the car, the seller may be aiming at hiding some problems in the car.
Any process of purchasing a car should be handled carefully to ensure that you have invested your money in the best way and don’t incur huge losses. Follow closely the tips provided above and get the best out of your money.