About to buy a new car? Stop right there. Read these six tips before heading to the car shop so you're really prepared to buy that new car.
Researching Before—And After—You Go
The internet can be a great resource for buying a car, particularly a new one. Instead of relying on a salesman’s sketchy pitch, do your own online research on the pros and cons of each model. Go test-drive one to make sure you like it, but don’t buy it right then. Instead, go home and hunt around for the best price among dealers in your region. Even if the dealership offering the best price is located far away, you may still come out ahead by having them deliver the car to you.
Car Buying Without Negotiating
Hate negotiating? Try CarWoo.com. You enter the make, model, and options you’re looking for, and a network of local car dealers will bid for your business. You aren’t hassled by phone calls from the dealerships, so you can shop on your own schedule and negotiate with the dealers anonymously. It’s a great way to buy a new or used car!
Test-Drive at Night
If you're buying a car, make sure you test-drive it at night. Driving in the dark will give you an opportunity to make sure the car’s lights work and will draw your attention inward toward its dash, so that you take in all of its interior features and can decide whether or not you like them.
Getting a Loan
After gas, one of the biggest costs associated with having a car is the interest you pay on the loan. Before you go buy a car, get a loan in place first—the financing the car dealership will offer most likely won’t be as competitive. Know your credit rating, and check with your employer’s credit union or look online for deals on car loans. Here’s what else you should know about getting a car loan.
Consider a Manual Transmission
Go manual and save. If you’re buying a new car and can’t afford a hybrid, consider going with a stick shift rather than an automatic. Not only are manual cars often cheaper, manually changing gears saves energy because your car is using only as much energy as it needs to—it’s never in a higher gear than it should be. Being able to coast down hills also saves you tons. Not interested in a manual? Just make sure you stay away from these costly-to-maintain cars.
Know When to Shop
When you buy a car can have a big effect on what kind of deal the salesperson is willing to offer. Try going just before closing, when the salesperson wants to leave, and towards the end of the month, when they might be trying to make a monthly quota. Keep an eye out for advertising and when the new model of the car you wants comes out, that’s the time to get the best deal on the last year’s model.
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