While buying a car has definitely become easier over the years, there are many people who realize after some time that they have bought the wrong car, or that they have paid way too much than they wanted or afforded. Here are five keys to success when searching for a car that will help you drive home the car you need and afford.
1. Set your budget
This step is the most important one you can possibly make. Before doing anything else, you should first set a realistic budget. That way, you will be less exposed to impulse buys that can often lead to ending up with the wrong car, paying too much or even ending upside down on a loan. Think about how much you can actually afford to spend on a car without throwing your finances out of balance, and that way you will risk less while also making sure you get the car you need that fits your budget, and not one which was forced unto you by a slick car dealer.
2. Do your research
The second key to buying a car is to do your research. The internet is just full of information on any car model out there, so you can learn about the strengths and weaknesses of each car model. By researching car models, you can make a better choice in choosing the car that will suit your needs while also allowing you to be more confident about what you want when you enter a car dealership. The last thing you want is to enter a dealership with an aimless stare on your face, as that will almost guarantee that you will drive home the car the dealer chose for you, and not the one you need.
3. Find out the invoice value of the car
While you may not be interested in finding out how much the dealer paid for the car, you should. This would allow you to set a realistic price for the car and be able to negotiate with the dealer. Learning the invoice value of a car is key to being able to get a great deal on your car purchase.
4. Inspect the car
Especially if you’re buying a used car, you should inspect it for flaws, as that way you will avoid ending up with a lemon no one else wants. You will also have more ammo to drop down the price of the car when negotiating should you decide that you can fix any existing problems.
This step might be the most obvious one, although many people just pay what the dealer asks for. And remember that you should always negotiate starting from the invoice price and not from the MSRP. In case the car is used, you can also start throwing the car flaws towards the dealer and force him to drop down the price.
Make sure you know what you are looking for and have a budget in mind, and always remember that you can always negotiate on ANY car. Follow these steps and you will be more satisfied with your car purchase and not get end up with a lemon.