Shopping for a new car can be a very exciting experience, but it’s important not to let your excitement prevent you from thinking carefully about your purchase. After all, with a little luck, your car will be with you for a few years, so you want to make sure that it’s going to give you the performance and reliability you need to keep on getting to work on time.
To help you make an informed decision about your next car purchase, we’ve put together a list of ten things you’ll need to do before you sign on the dotted line, all the way from getting your car loan, to taking a test drive.
1. Know Your Budget
When you’re shopping for a new car, the first thing you’ll need to do is figure out how much you can afford to spend on the vehicle. Typically, most experts recommend that you shouldn’t spend anywhere more than 15% of your total monthly income on your car expenses. This includes not just paying back your car loan, but also paying the cost of insurance and tax too.
2. Know Your Car
Usually, it’s a good idea to figure out your budget before you decide on the kind of car you want. This will help to stop you from falling in love with a car that you simply can’t afford. With your price in mind, you can head to dealer websites and look at what’s available in your price range. Most of the best comparison websites online today come with sliders that allow you to choose your perfect budget, so you can track down the cars that suit your needs. Don’t be afraid to check out a range of options on different websites, before you pick a car that seems to be right for you.
3. Decide on the Features You Need
Most of the time, you’ll choose a car based not just on things like miles per gallon and appearance, but also the features that it can offer, such as air conditioning, and power steering. If you know that there are certain features you can’t do without, this might change your decision about where, and when to get your car. So, make a list in advance.
4. Arrange Your Car Loan
Before you jump into the driver’s seat and take a test drive, it’s a good idea to make sure that you can get the loan you need for your new car. Speak to a loan provider, and figure out how much you’ll be eligible for, and whether that amount fits your budget. Remember to check your credit rating before you go if you can, to reduce your risk of black spots on your credit history and be sure to compare as many lenders as possible in order to ensure you get the best deal on the table.
5. Know the Trade-in Value
While there’s a good chance that you might be able to earn more money for your old car if you sell it yourself, most people like to avoid the hassle when they can. If you’re planning on trading your old vehicle in towards the cost of your new one, check out the price online first. This will help you to figure out how much money you need to borrow.
6. Do Your Research
Once you have a good idea of what kind of car you want to buy, it’ll be time to do your research. Head online and find out everything you can about the make and model of your potential car, from how fuel-efficient it can be, to how likely it is to suffer from faults. Reviews are your friend when it comes to buying a car.
7. Take Your Time
While you might feel as though you’re racing against the clock to buy the ideal car, particularly if your old car isn’t working anymore, it’s important not to let yourself get rushed into a purchase. Walk away from the car after your test drive, and give yourself some time to think about it before you sign on the dotted line.
8. Make Sure You’re Comfortable with the Dealer
Make sure that you feel entirely comfortable with the dealership where you’re hoping to purchase your vehicle. The best dealers should make you feel confident that they’re going to continue looking after you after you’ve written your check.
9. Take Multiple Test Drives
A test drive is one of the best ways for anyone to find out how their new potential car looks, drives, and feels. Ideally, you’ll want to take the first test drive alone, then bring your family along for the follow-up drive. This will make sure that you have a chance to check everything fits comfortably where it should.
10. Inspect your New Car
Finally, before you drive away in your new car, make sure that you give it a thorough and detailed inspection, both inside and out. Check for anything you might have missed when you first looked at it, including unexpected wear and tear, or damage, and address your concerns with a salesperson before you hand over your money.
What do you think of this list? Do you find it useful? What do you normally do before buying a new car? What else would you add to this list?
*Disclosure: Collaborative Post
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