Buying a car for the first time is a big thing and there are trivial questions you must ask yourself and the seller before making the purchase. In 2017 over 17 million cars were sold, and the numbers continue to rise each year. If you’re planning to buy a new car and wondering what do I need to know before buying a car, you have come to the right spot. In this article, you will find all the things to know before buying a car, and the checklist every new car buyer must have all crossed.
The average person goes to the dealership eager to get a vehicle and leaves pretty content with what they think was the best deal ever. Why do they believe this? Because the salesman made it sound like he bent the rules just to get that fantastic deal just for them.
Pretty nice of him, huh? Many people take out a loan to pay for their car and then pay the monthly price, right?
Well, despite how great the deal may have sounded coming from the salesman,
107 million Americans have auto loan debt as said in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York data. Car statistics state that Americans owe over a TRILLION dollars in auto debt.
Why Are So Many Americans Struggling With Auto Debt?
The truth is, people are walking into a dealership without any preparation or legwork to responsibly purchase a car. People go ignorant of the things you need to know and then wind up in a deal that they can’t afford.
Sometimes people with poor financial skills also go out of the way and assume that they could afford the extra bills easily. Sounds familiar? Or you just don’t want to be in that group of people? Then, check out the things you need sort out before buying a car.
Things to Sort out before Buying A Car
1. Figure out how much you can ACTUALLY afford
Look at your finances realistically. We all have other bills aside from a car note to pay and don’t want to end up with $0 after spending them all. You’ll also have to pay for insurance on the car, and you’ll need to put a down payment on the vehicle.
Financial experts will tell you to put at least 20% of the payment down.
A good rule of thumb my mom always taught me is to keep car payments at 16% or less of your total gross income for wiggle room for other bills and just everyday living. Using these parameters, figure out how much you can spend on a car every month.
2. Check on your credit
Checking your credit is something you should be doing periodically anyway, but you want to have a good idea of what your credit score is before going to buy a car.
Why check your credit score?
- It helps to have that knowledge in your back pocket and look at what interest rates are available to you.
- Your credit information will give you the tools necessary to walk into the dealership and negotiate accordingly.
- It also helps you recognize when a salesman is trying to provide you with an unfair deal.
3. Do some research on the car that you want
Once you have your financial limitations in order, you should have a good idea on what cars you can afford and what cars you can’t afford. With that information, you can begin looking up the cars you like.
Compare the cost of those to the cost budget you have set for yourself. Have a list of top 3 cars that fit into your budget comfortably that you’d want to buy.
Nothing is more dangerous to your wallet than entering a dealership with no idea as to what you want for your car.
4. Go to a plethora of dealerships
Do not limit yourself to own dealership. Having a favorite is okay. A lot of people have a specific place in mind when they think of buying a car, but that shouldn’t be your only stop.
You should be checking out multiple dealerships and research some reviews of the best ones online you could find the best deal for you at a place you never considered even going to at first. So it’s best not to limit yourself.
5. Check car resumes
You want to check a cats history. You could come across a car that looks beautiful and is affordable and seemingly perfect, but then you find out that after just a year, a lot of people discover engine troubles.
Look up reviews of the car you are leaning towards and see what other peoples experiences are with it. The last thing you want to do is take a dealers word for it that the car is “excellent and will work perfectly.”
6. Have your car checked out by a mechanic
This step goes hand in hand with number 5. I am sure that the salesman at your car dealership is a lovely and outstanding gentleman, but you need to fact check. Make sure the condition of the vehicle aligns with the description of the car. Check for all the available features that you’re paying for.
Also, get a mechanic you trust to look over the car and see what and if there are any issues with the car. Better safe than sorry, right?
Buying a car is a serious business. It’s pretty much investment, and if you do not adequately prepare for it, it’ll be an investment that flops and leaves you in debt just like a lot of other people mentioned earlier.
When I bought my first car, I didn’t know about any of these things and ended up struggling to pay an almost $500 monthly bill that I wouldn’t have had to pay if I had done my homework beforehand.
It took me a long time to pay off that car, and I was still paying it off after the car broke down on me and kept on giving me more and more problems until I was forced to give up on it. If you don’t want this to be your story, make sure that you have done extensive research before walking into that dealership and paying for a car.
What was your first car buying experience? Was it a good one or a bad one? If you are on the verge of buying a car now, do you think you’re adequately prepared to go in there and get the best deal possible? Did this post help? Comment your thoughts down below!
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