Finding the right car can be an extremely long and challenging process – especially if you have a tight budget and or a short time frame in which to shop. There are so many different resources with competing information about what you need to look for when shopping for a new car. I’m here to give you a quick 5 tips that may help jump start the process for you, especially if you have a specific price point you want to stick with.
1. Do Your Background Research: For starters, the most important tip of finding a car is doing your homework on the make, model and price of your desired car. I know that Cars.com is a great resource to start at when you are learning about your potential purchase. Their website has a huge selection of information that will provide you with everything you need to make an informed purchase. What most people don’t know about them is their Videos & Reviews feature. They provide extensive reviews and essential information about a wide variety of different cars. And most importantly, they give it to you straight. I’ve found they don’t sugar coat or hide the bad reviews of cars. If something is poorly rated, hasn’t performed well or not a good purchase, they aren’t afraid to tell you. Especially if you are a first-time buyer or have a lot of different cars you’re interested in, Cars.com is the place to start.
2. Don’t Stick With Just One Dealer: My second piece of advice is to not stick with just one dealer. Though dealers can stock huge selections at different prices, it doesn’t mean their prices are industry competitive. Because of this, I recommend visiting other dealers and researching similar cars you are interested in to get a baseline price for the vehicle. Visiting other dealers will give you an understanding of what you should be paying, and therefore get you the best price. Most dealers show their current inventory online, so you can even price compare and make phone calls before you leave your home and visit each dealer in person.
3. Check Competing Prices for Used Cars: Looking at various dealers is increasingly important if you are shopping for a used car. An important factor of used cars is their number of miles. This number has a huge impact on the wear and tear of the car, along with the price. Guessing the price of a car based on the miles it has will not give you accurate information, and will most likely result in overspending on your part. So, visiting other dealers and looking at competing prices is especially important for used cars. Even do a quick check of the suggested price over on Kelly Blue Book (kbb.com). You can check the value of make, model, and miles on cars you are interested in.
4. Be An Educated Consumer (or bring someone with you who is!): As mentioned above, it is important to show the person selling the car that you are educated. This is why doing your research is so valuable. Buying a car can be tricky, and people selling cars can take advantage of you very easily. Your research helps you learn the true value and worth of the cars you are shopping for. I personally do not feel very confident when I am shopping for cars, so I am sure to bring someone with me who is (and in my experience, it has been my dad or husband.) Having a confident shopping helper can help any deceiving used cars salesman to steer clear of using their tricks on you. 😉
5. Don’t Be In A Hurry: The last tip is to find the car that is right for you without being in a big rush. There are so many cars out there with thousands of different features, that it is important to take your time to see what is available. Start looking for what you want before you are in dire need of a new car. Don’t wait until the engine in your car blows up before you start doing your homework! Rushing a car purchase will leave you overpaying and under-satisfied. Whether you are looking for a brand new sports car or a used compact car, taking your time on the purchase will pay off.
These simple tips will help you save big and find the right car for you. It is important to do your research, utilize different resources, know your stuff and take your time when car shopping. Following these tips will do nothing but help your with your purchase. Doing something as little as looking up similar car prices can save you thousands of dollars. You may even notice the further your travel from a big city to buy, the more you will save. Purchasing a car doesn’t have to complicated and stressful – so good luck to you as you set on your journey to gt your new pair of wheels!