Sometimes you just know when it’s time for an upgrade, and you’ve got the financial resources to do it. A new car can save you on gas mileage and maintenance and keep you safer with up to date features and technology, so thinking about upgrading can often be a smart idea. If you’ve been driving your old car for a long time and it’s starting to break down and need frequent repairs, it can make a lot of sense to trade it in before its value goes any lower and get a new car that you can enjoy without hassle and costly upkeep for a while. If you haven’t shopped for a new car in a while, getting back into car shopping mode can feel a little overwhelming, but if you keep a few basic pointers in mind while you’re shopping, you can expect to get a good deal and drive off in a new car you’ll be completely satisfied with.
- Research first
Don’t go into a dealership blind, with no idea what make or model you want to purchase—you might end up getting steered toward whatever the salesperson wants to unload, or whatever gets them the best commission. Go in knowing what you want to buy, or at least have a solid idea of what type of car and features are most important to you. Consider the needs of your family as well. If you have kids, you want to make sure there’s room to install a car seat safely and fit everybody inside comfortably.
- Shop around
Online car buying guides can help you find dealerships, compare prices, check reviews, and generally make yourself a more informed consumer. Knowing that you can leave a dealership that’s pressuring you or not offering what you want, and find the same car at a dealership in the next town over, can give you power and leverage when you’re negotiating a sale. It’s very important to know what you should reasonably expect to pay for the kind of car you’re looking to buy.
- Financing first
Go to your bank or lender and get yourself pre-approved for an auto loan before you head to the dealership. This will help you keep to your budget and will ensure that you get the best loan terms and the lowest interest rates and won’t end up stuck with whatever the dealership can offer you in terms of financing. This is another way to get leverage that can be very helpful for you when you’re ready to finalize the sale.
Shopping for a new car can be a time consuming process, and if you’re unprepared or intimidated, it can easily turn into an unpleasant experience. The best way to avoid this is to go in prepared and armed with knowledge, knowing that you can get the car you want for the price you’re willing to pay. Do your homework first and enjoy your new car!