When it comes to buying a car…we definitely learned the hard way. We went to a dealership and didn’t really know what we were doing and ended up paying way more each month than we wanted to. So we wanted to share with you some tips that we learned that we will definitely do next time. And let us know what you learned with your car buying experience too!
1. Contact a bank who will give you a loan before you buy your car.
We just went to the dealer and thought we would use their banks because they would give you the best price – not so. We ended up contacting our bank after we bought the car and moved our loan to them. But it’s better to call before so you know how big of a loan you can get, what your payments will be, and how much of a down payment you’ll need to do. We ended up resigning paperwork about 5 different times when trying to work with the dealership banks – it was a nightmare!
2. Go when it’s warmer.
We went on a very overcast day and there didn’t seem to be any smells in the car. We bought the car in the summer and a few days later noticed there was a smokey smell that came out as it sat in the sun. We’ve had the car for a year now and still haven’t completely gotten the smell out.
3. Go to more than one dealership when looking.
We were so anxious to buy a car that we went to one dealer and got the car we wanted there. But who knows if we could have found a better deal or a better car at another place. I’m sure in most places you live, there are many dealers to choose from within 30 miles even. It’s ok to walk away and say you’ll come back later.
4. Budget in your payment.
Another good reason to contact a bank and work out a loan before you go to a dealership. Then you can know if you can afford the payment. We ended up paying about $75 more a month than we originally wanted to.
5. Talk to friends where they got their car.
We did do this, but it was a fellow employer who had a lot more money than us and we feel like our car salesman cheated us a bit. And then we felt like we couldn’t walk away because there were too many people who knew each other involved…it was just awkward.
6. If you can, take a good friend who works in the car business.
I did this when I bought my very first car after I started college. I had a friend who worked at a dealership and he took me around to the dealerships that he knew were good places and helped me find a car that was in my budget.
7. Research the car you want beforehand.
We knew what type of car we wanted because other members in our family had the same one and loved it. We also checked the mpg it got and made sure there was enough room for our growing family. Maybe having a few types of cars in mind would be a good idea so you can find yourself the best deal. When I bought my very first car, my dad told me not to get a 2 door (even thought they’re cheaper) because one day I would be married and have kids and you wouldn’t want a 2 door. He was right! We still have that car now that I’m married and have a baby and glad it’s not a 2 door. So find out what kind of car fits your lifestyle best.
To get a few more tips you can go to Fox Business (which had some similar ideas to ours 🙂 ).
We still love our car and it has been working great, but these are definitely some of the things we would have done differently to have provided less of a headache during the car buying process. Good luck!