10 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Car

Unless you're looking for 0% interest rates or other low incentivized interest rates, it's best to purchase a car with cash. If you have to borrow, do so conservatively. Get the best rate you can and keep loans for no more than 36 months. Try to put a 20% discount.

The average American spends 10 hours buying a car, compared to just five hours buying a home loan. Some buyers become so obsessed with getting the “best deal” that they are willing to spend weeks buying a car. But at what price? And then you try to calculate those things to justify the purchase. For example, you can tell yourself that you will keep the car for 10 years to justify depreciation. Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long history of helping people make smart financial decisions.

We have maintained this reputation for more than four decades by demystifying the financial decision-making process and giving people confidence in what steps to take next. You can submit an application to multiple lenders within 14 days and it only counts as a query on your credit report.From there, you will normally have 30 days to go around with your quote. This gives you time to find the best rates and the dealers that offer the best deals. Before buying a used vehicle, ask a repair shop that routinely performs diagnostic work.

It is generally better to buy a used model of a car that has a history of quality and reliability than to buy a new model of another vehicle that may be less reliable. Some of the most common mistakes when buying a used car focus on not doing due diligence with respect to the vehicle you are considering. If negotiation tactics are out of your helm, hand them over to a car broker or consider buying through a service such as the AAA-backed Auto Buying Program, which offers members special pricing through authorized dealers. If a particular car is in the habit of needing a new transmission at 60,000 miles and you're seeing a used model of that car with 50,000 miles with the original transmission still in it, you might have doubts when buying it. Build & Buy Car Buying Service Save thousands of dollars on the MSRP with upfront dealership pricing information and a transparent car buying experience. Here are 10 common mistakes car buyers make that can quickly turn that initial emotion into buyer remorse, and how to avoid them:

  • Know how much your current car is worth, why the car you plan to buy is sold, how much money you can deposit, and how much money you can spend on a monthly car payment.
  • Select three or four vehicles you would like to purchase and have an auto loan ready from a bank or other lender so you don't have to rely on the dealer's finance office.
  • With inventories so low, make sure you're ready to buy when you find a car that's available at a competitive price.
  • Compare financing terms at different financial institutions and get prequalified for an auto loan before going to the dealership to purchase the vehicle.
  • Remember that you are at the dealership to purchase a vehicle, not to include payment for a vehicle in your monthly budget.
  • Know if it's worth it to buy an extended warranty.
  • Be aware of potential scams when buying from private sellers.
  • Be aware of hidden costs such as taxes and fees.
  • Don't be afraid to walk away if the deal isn't right.
  • Do your research before making any decisions.
There are many potential car buying mistakes that buyers can make when looking at used or new vehicles, as well as buying a car in general.

But if you buy a model with good reliability, or if you expect to have the vehicle alone for five years or less, it's often not worth the cost. However, last week I asked my focus group about their experiences buying cars, including their biggest fears when thinking about the process.