Take the wheel and gain control over your next car-buying experienceGet Smart Before Braving the LotResearch Saves Dollars and Heartache in Your New Car Quest
By Mike McLafferty
After countless hours scouring autotrader.com and strolling through the local dealerships … there it is. The car you’ve been searching for is finally in front of you and all you want to do is jump in and cruise into the golden sunset.
But before you get too overjoyed and sign on that dotted line, take a few minutes and brush up on your research when it comes to a new car purchase. Before you head down to the car lot, it’s important to inform yourself of all the facts to help you make a confident and educated decision on your new vehicle.
First and foremost, relax and breathe; you would be surprised to know how many people get their nerves twirled up in a tizzy-induced, pretzel-shaped knot over the stress of buying a new car.
Walk onto that car lot with a positive attitude, a relaxed demeanor and the knowledge of exactly what you’re signing up for.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they go to buy a new car is not knowing their credit score. When it comes to buying a car, your credit score dictates how high your interest rate will be. Walk into the dealership already knowing what your credit history looks like and your score in order to get the best deal possible.
Another important factor to look at is your trade-in and whether or not you still owe money on it. If you still owe on your current car, it is vital that you get it in writing that the dealership you’re working with will pay off the remaining balance on your car within 10 days to the bank that you financed through. (Ten days is the average amount of time the bank requires before late fees start getting added on.)
Remember, that car is still legally under your name, and if the dealership takes its sweet time on getting the bank its payments, then it’s you who is going to suffer the repercussions.
Pssst, lean in close. Here’s an insider secret that may save you thousands: The best time to buy a new car is in December or the months from July to October.
In December, consumers are so preoccupied with shopping for Christmas gifts that it leaves a lot of car dealerships looking like the set of an old Western movie (i.e. vacant). With business so slow, many dealerships begin slashing prices and offer huge sales events in order to move cars off the lot. From July to October, most dealerships are trying to make room for the latest models that are beginning to roll out, which means they offer some great rebates for last year’s models in order to make room for the brand new ones.
Whatever your decision, always make sure you know exactly what you’re signing on for. You may want to take your dream car for a ride off that car lot; just don’t get yourself taken for a ride in the process.
Siteseeing: Car-Buying Web Sites
carbuyingtips.com – Want to learn tricks of the car-buying trade? This site offers in-depth information that will not only save you money but also educate you on things vital to a great car-buying experience.
edmunds.com – A miracle resource for a driver of any age; this site offers tips on purchasing your next vehicle, safe driving techniques and just about every useful piece of driving information possible.
carinfo.com – A site full of insider secrets about auto buying, leasing and repair, as well as links to resources.