The Dos and Don’ts of Buying a New Car

Buying a new car can be stressful — you might know the make and model you want, but shopping around, comparing prices, and ultimately dealing with a salesperson can make the process difficult. And buying a new car is especially frustrating if you don’t know what to expect.

If you’re preparing to purchase a new car, we’re sharing the best dos and don’ts to help you make the process effortless and straightforward.

Do: Get Pre-Approved for a Car Loan

New cars are expensive, and 85% of people who buy a new car get an auto loan according to Investopedia. Many people simply accept the loan offered at the dealership the day they purchase their car — but that may not be the best financial decision. Instead, take the time to shop around at local banks to get the best interest rate. Visit your current bank as well as others in your city and ask about auto loans. Often, banks can offer lower interest rates and better financing terms than the dealership.

Don’t: Become Emotional

Leave your emotions at home when you’re ready to buy. Act too excited at the dealership, and a salesperson won’t try as hard to get you the best deal if they know you’ll buy the car no matter the price. Appear calm, logical, and in control, unwilling to purchase unless you get the right deal. And don’t fall for car salesman tricks like a high-pressure sales pitch or threatening to take an offer off the table; you’ll get the same offer when you return.

Do: Negotiate Price

Each dealership marks up their vehicles by different amounts — and if you aren’t an experienced car shopper, you might think the sticker price you see is the rock bottom price. Make sure to negotiate with the salesperson, asking for ways to discount the sticker price. After you’ve negotiated the price to the best of your ability, start negotiating extra features and services. Can you get a higher trim level for free? Is the salesperson willing to throw in a maintenance package for less? Remember to lower the price of the car itself first, though, before negotiating features.

Don’t: Bring Children to the Dealership

As much as they add joy to our lives, children are merely a distraction at the dealership. Children won’t have the patience to sit through test drives, negotiations, and the final purchase paperwork process. Buying a new car can take two to three hours on average, AutoTrader reports, and you don’t want to have your kids distracting you while you’re trying to save thousands of dollars. Leave the kids at some so you can focus your energy on the car buying process.

Do: Understand the Warranty

A new vehicle comes with a certain level of guarantee from the manufacturer: a warranty that protects your expensive purchase for the first few years. There are two main types of warranties offered by manufacturers. A bumper-to-bumper warranty is all inclusive, covering any parts of the car that could be defective. The only pieces excluded by a bumper-to-bumper warranty are the tires, oil changes and regular maintenance, hybrid batteries, windshield wipers, brake lines, and the powertrain. That’s where a powertrain warranty comes in — this type of warranty only covers the engine, transmission, and the drive axle. The powertrain warranty is also called the “limited warranty” because it only covers specific components in certain cases.

Do: Research Before Buying

Buying a new car is exciting. It’s a costly change, one that comes with exciting new features and a new car everyone will see. Take your time and shop around; research before you buy, reading reviews and safety ratings to understand what you’re purchasing. The most important step in buying a new car is comparing prices, features, and available offers.

Interested in the latest new car offers? Start a search today.

BlueSkyImage / Shutterstock
BlueSkyImage / Shutterstock