Buying a new car can be quite the process and can take a great deal of time. Check out our recommendations that can help you through this process.
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My 2003 Durango has been a great car and still looks fabulous. It only has 65,000 miles on it and rides as smooth as the day that we brought it home. I love the car for many reasons BUT I do miss having all the bells and whistles that the newer cars have. I am retired and my husband will be retiring soon and we plan on doing some traveling on the road when that happens. So for that reason, we will be buying a new car. Finding the right car can be quite the process and can take a great deal of time. I have some recommendations to share with you that I have found handy and helped me through this process.
My husband and I have bought many cars over the years and one of the most time consuming aspects of making a car purchase is the hours wasted going from dealership to dealership trying to figure it all out. Now you can do a lot of your research from the comfort of your home and your couch by using your computer or tablet. Cars.com is an excellent resource that allows you to access all kinds of information and to make an informed decision. It is a proven resource to help you navigate all the different paths in purchasing a car. They have informative videos and the largest database of consumer reviews in the industry.
Determine Your Budget
Although we all would probably love to have one of the many fabulous luxury vehicles out there, we know we won’t be able to take a car home unless we can really afford it. I have read that you should spend anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of your income on your vehicles. If you are one that is frugal and keeps on a strict budget, 10 percent is probably the area you are looking at. For many of you, 20 percent is probably more realistic. The important thing is to sit down and figure out what you can afford and stick to your guns! You are the one that will be making that payment and it will be you that will find yourself answering the door to the repo man and not the cars salesman if you default on the loan. Don’t forget to factor in gas, insurance and repairs when doing your budget.
Don’t Limit Yourself
It is important to look at more than one dealership and be open to both new and used cars. Although dealers can stock huge selections at different prices, it doesn’t mean their prices are industry competitive. By checking out different dealers you can really get a feel for competitive prices. Invoice pricing on third party sites is not 100 percent accurate but it is a good indicator and a great place to start your negotiation. So again, researching all the information of a site like Cars.com cannot be stressed enough.
Take Your Time Test Driving
After you have completed all of your research, it is time to take a test drive. Try to establish not only a friendly rapport with your salesman but a relationship where you let them know they will not be able to strong-arm you into a deal. Take your time test driving the car to make sure that it is really the one that you want to spend the next five to 10 years with. Breaking up with a car is often not that financially easy to do once you sign on the dotted line. If you need more time behind the wheel, be assertive and ask for it. Make sure you go over all the bells and whistles and that the car will comfortably fit you and your family.
This is where all of your research will come in handy. Your knowledge base will help you negotiate a fair price. Be prepared to say no to all of the extras offered to you if they are something you have researched and have determined are not necessary. Go over the sales contract with a fine tooth comb to make sure you are not paying any unnecessary fees that were not already negotiated in.
Hopefully you will find the right car for you at the right price. Just remember to do your research in advance from the comfort of your home and utilize all the tools that a site like Cars.com provides. Also, if you have young children or grandchildren, check out their helpful information on car seat safety.