The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

The Steps To Take When Buying A Car

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Buying a car does not need to be an experience that makes you pull your hair out. Like everything else in the shopping world, if you rush into buying a car without taking crucial steps, it will not end well. You need to approach the task with the knowledge to get a good car without dealing with a lemon after you drive it off the lot.

Some of the following tips may seem like common sense but believe us when we say that you would be amazed at how many people forget some of the simple steps. Let us jump right into it so you can learn the proper steps to take to ensure that your car buying experience is a great one.

    1. Budget: You should already have a budget made up to know how much you can afford to pay for a car. It is best to go with a reasonable down payment and then obtain a loan for the rest, but if you have the cash to buy it outright do so to save yourself a monthly payment. If you do not have a budget set up yet, download a free template and complete it first.

    2. Research: There is no point in getting a vehicle that does not fit your needs or has a history of significant problems. You need to sit down in front of a computer or with your mobile device in hand and look up the specific type of vehicle that you need. Consumer Reports is a great place to start searching, but be sure that you only research the cars that fit your requirement. For example, if you have a large family and need something to get them around, you may want to look into a van or SUV.

    3. Pre-Qualify: It may seem like an extra step you do not need because many car lots will have you fill out their own version of an application. Still, it will save you time and frustration. You need to find a bank or lender to give you a loan before you step foot onto a car lot. When you get preapproved, you will know how much money you have to work with, and it will let the car lot know that you are a serious buyer.

    4. Trade In: If you have a vehicle that you no longer need, you may want to trade it in for the car you are looking at. This can account for a decent amount of the asking price, or it can feel like a rip-off. You need to know what your trade-in is worth before offering it up. Remember, when looking up values, though, that trade-in value is substantially lower than if you took the time to sell it on your own first.

    5. Test Drive: Once you have done your homework and know what type of vehicle you want, it is time to go to the car lots and test drive some of the ones that fit your needs. You need to take the vehicle through town to see how it performs and then up onto the nearest highway so you can get it up to speed. Keep the radio and air conditioning off so you can feel how the car runs. Do not forget to take it to a mechanic you trust to check it out if you buy a pre-owned vehicle.

That is all that there is to it. There really is no need to get frustrated when buying a car. Approach the task prepared and educated to avoid a salesperson from talking you into something that turns out to not fit your needs. Go into the job with your head high, and do not be afraid to ask questions. Always discuss how low the asking price can actually go because the tag in the window is never set in stone.