7 Essential Car Buying Tips

A vehicle is a major purchase, so it’s one you want to be 100% sure about. There’s no perfect formula for buying a car, but there are a lot of ways to make it easier. Here are seven quick tips from our experts at Connexus:

Determine Your Budget

Before you start searching for cars, you should know what kind of monthly payment you can afford. You can use a financial calculator to determine what your monthly payment would be for any given vehicle.

Know Whether You’re Looking for New or Used

This decision is based on several factors: your budget, depreciation, how long you need the car, etc. This NerdWallet article helps walk you through the pros and cons of buying new and used.

Narrow Your Choices

Before you get your financing and before you go to the dealer, do your research online. You probably have an idea of what style of vehicle you want (car, truck, van, etc.). Read reviews, look at prices, and narrow down the options.

Secure Your Financing Before You Go to the Dealer

This step gives you more control when you’re at the dealership. When you already know the loan details you’re qualified for, you can compare them to what’s offered at the dealership. It also puts you in the driver’s seat when negotiating price. Read more about why to get financing first.

Research All Possible Discounts

At its most basic level, car shopping is just like any other kind of shopping. Before you make a purchase, shop around, look for discounts, and find sales. It could save you a lot of money.

Test Drive All Your Options

Once you’ve narrowed down your options based on the features and prices, you should test drive all of them. You want to get the feel for the car’s comfort, handling, usability, etc.

Take Your Time

One of the most important steps is to go at your own pace. You may be pressured into making a quick decision, but you shouldn’t sign anything until you’re comfortable making a purchase. It’s your decision, so you get to call the shots.
Car buying doesn’t need to be difficult. Follow those seven tips and you’ll be behind the wheel of a new ride in no time.