This is a sponsored post on behalf of Cars.com. All opinions are my own. Buying a new/used vehicle can be the best or the worst experience that a person can have. Follow these quick and simple steps to make your car buying experience just like your favorite meal: fun, tasteful, exciting, and can’t wait to do it again and again.
Here are 7 simple steps for car buying:
- Determine what your needs and wants are: The kind of vehicle that you purchase will depend on your needs and wants. These questions should be asked prior to going shopping: What are you using the vehicle for? (off-road, highway commuter, family vacations, towing, etc.), What features do you want your vehicle to be equipped with? (Navigation, 5, 6 or 8 passenger, room for car-seats, room for luggage, leather, engine size (muscle/power or good mpg, 4 wheel drive, etc.)
- Do your research: Once you know what kind of vehicle and features you want, now it’s time to go to work. Check out your local ads to see what similar vehicles are currently being sold for. Compare vehicles and find how much they are worth so you don’t end up overpaying.
- Test Drive: Always take the vehicle for a drive. If they don’t let you drive it, don’t buy it. If while driving it doesn’t drive good or sound good, then don’t buy it. Things to look for: shake in the steering wheel/column, pulls to the right or the left(could be an easy fix like new tires or alignment), backfire (loud popping sounds coming from the exhaust), hard to start. Make sure to test everything: lights(walk around and make sure all lights and blinkers work), turn on the heater and A.C., turn on the radio, roll down the windows, try the wiper blades and washer fluid, check the oil and any maintenance records. All this should be very easy and quick to do. If for any reason the seller won’t let you check anything, then that should throw up a red flag meaning that somethings not right.
- Mechanic check: Take the vehicle to a certified mechanic shop and pay the small fee for them to look over the vehicle and make any problematic diagnosis.
- Take someone with experience with you: Take a friend or a family member with you that have been through this and knows and understands how to tell a good car from a lemon. This person should also help keep you from jumping into something that you might regret later.
- Shop around: Have Fun! Don’t buy the first vehicle that you test drive. It’s like dating (you should try several before you realize how special that first, middle or last one is.)
- Negotiate: All new vehicles are always marked up with room for negotiation. If a dealer tells you that there is no wiggle room, then simply tell them “thank you and go somewhere else. They will more than likely chase you out the front door with a better offer. And if they don’t, there are hundreds of other dealerships to take your business to that will be more than happy to negotiate a price that will make you happy.
I have 4 young kids so safety is always first. I always perform what I like to call a car-seat check by taking my personal car-seats out of my car and placing them into the new car. I regard safety as extremely important and for my vehicle to be equipped with proper room and latches for my car-seats to attach to. Each of us has needs and wants, and I know that if you follow these 7 simple steps for car buying that you will enjoy your experience and feel good about your purchase decision.
What tips do you have for buying a car?