If your current vehicle is getting rusty or clunky, or it’s no longer the right size for your family, then it might be time to purchase a new vehicle. If getting a new car or truck is in the cards for you, and it’s been a while since you purchased a vehicle, you may need a refresher course. There are a few things to decide and know before heading into a dealership or looking on Craigslist. Here’s what to know before you begin the process of buying a car, and what to know while you’re looking.
Decide How Much You Can Spend
Before you purchase a car, you’ll want to decide ahead of time what you can spend. Determine a set budget for your car and try to find the best vehicle in that range. If you need a little extra cash flow, you can try Apply and Buy for financing. Remember to carefully consider whether financing or an upfront payment are right for you.
Now that you know what price range you’re working with, you can decide between certain years and models of cars. What year has a good track record? Are parts for that model easy to obtain and inexpensive? Before you go in, know which models and years are worth your money, since a 2010 Ford might be better than a 2012, despite the 2012 being newer.
Decide On a Few Choices
After you’ve narrowed down your vehicle options by both price range and quality of car, narrow your search further by deciding on a few top choices. Keep your car of choice to no more than six options, so that once you start browsing online or looking at a Ford dealership, you can spend less time debating between vehicles.
Know How Much to Spend
Once you’ve narrowed your choice of car to six or fewer options, you can research the fair price for each one. You already know that these cars are within your price range, but you should also determine what they sell for in your area, and what a fair asking price is. You can’t get haggled into an unfair purchase if you come prepared.
Have the Car Checked
Before you take the right car home, you should have it checked at a nearby garage. Make sure you trust the mechanic you’re working with. Your seller should have no problem with you getting the car checked by a third party, and that way, you can determine if the car is really in the condition that the seller claims.
Buying a car is complicated, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. If you walk into a purchase with some facts and figures in your head, you can avoid being cheated, and if you get your car checked before you purchase, you can make sure it’s a good deal. Start with the first step and make your way down the list. Soon, you’ll be driving a much better vehicle than your current car–and you’ll feel good about the price you paid.
What are your favorite tips for buying a car?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.
“PIN & SHARE”