Trying to find your next vehicle can seem like an endless process. With so many variables out there; new vs. used, private sale vs. dealership, lease vs. buy (and all this on top of which car!), it can be very overwhelming. Before pounding the pavement, we have a few tips that can help make your shopping experience a little less stressful and have you be a little more savvy. We are going to show you how to get buy with confidence by showing you the top four things to look for and ask yourself before making your next vehicle purchase.
Ask yourself what your real needs are.
Like all big decisions, financial or otherwise, doing some research will arm you with all the information you need. Before you start researching ask yourself how you and your family will be using this vehicle. If you are looking for a car to get you around town your needs will be different than someone who has a long daily commute. This is also a great opportunity to explore the possibility of new vs. used cars. Sometime buying used just makes more sense; they are less expensive than current models, and the right dealership can help you find a great financing plan, help with paperwork and find you a high quality vehicle.
Do a little online sleuthing!
Most car dealership have an online inventory available for you to browse from the comfort of your home. Explore these inventory pages and take a look at the specifications of some of the vehicles you’re interested in. This is also a great way to find dealership and factory incentives! Dealerships are often bringing their customers great savings opportunities so keep your eyes peeled, these are usually short term offers!
Once you know what kind of car you’re going to need (minivan, compact, sedan etc.) you can start to compare models and get a feel for the different features, add ons, and prices of different vehicles. This may seem like obvious advice but arming yourself with the right information is going to help you have productive conversations with the dealership you choose to work with.
Set a real budget aligned with your needs.
Once you have researched what’s available and picked the features that best fit your lifestyle, decide on a firm budget. This is where the previous two tips come into play. You know how much your ideal vehicles cost, you are armed with a “must haves and nice-to-haves” list. You’re ready to set your budget. Be realistic and align your research with your finances. If a sound system is an absolute must, maybe you compromise with a smaller vehicle. If you really need the room of a larger SUV, sacrifice the power moon roof. It’s all about balance!
Always take it for a test drive.
Working with a reputable dealership like Frank Myers Auto Maxx in Winston-Salem, NC is essential to getting the perfect vehicle that is not full of unwanted surprises. After you have set your budget, browsed the dealer’s incentives and you have picked some potential vehicles, go in and talk to the dealer. Take them out for a test drive, if they’re used vehicles you should ask for their vehicle history. The dealer should have this information available and be willing to share it with you. Knowing the quality of the vehicle you’re buying will help you determine any potential long-term care costs. This is also the added benefit of going through a dealership, transparency.
Shopping for a vehicle can be difficult if you don’t take the time to think about what you really need. By doing some research, thinking about what you actually need and doing your do-diligence once you’ve narrowed the field, you can relax a little and narrow your vehicle search to what fits your lifestyle and your budget.