Getting pre-approved for a loan before setting foot on a dealership lot is the best advice when buying a car. It's important to keep it simple at the dealership and not buy any add-ons. A five-year loan is recommended for a new car, and with a used car, you should finance it for only three years. This way, if your used car breaks down and it's not worth fixing, you're more likely to have repaid the loan by that time.
It's also important to inform sellers in advance that they will not take you for a walk. Do everything you can to negotiate the car loan and lower the purchase price. Start with a ridiculous number and move backwards. When looking at monthly payments, make sure they are attached to a reasonable loan term. Ninety percent of people who buy a new car test it first, so don't be among the 10% who don't.
Comfort should be the most important thing in your mind when testing the car. Have a mechanic check for any mechanical or maintenance problems that could determine whether or not you buy the car. Your insurance rates often change when you buy a new vehicle, so ask your insurance representative how much it will cost to insure before choosing a model. The best time to buy is usually during year-end sales, when dealerships need to make room for newer models. Negotiate the real price of the car instead of the monthly payment, as focusing on payments makes it easier to lose sight of the total amount you'll pay over time.
Here are 10 car-buying tips to help you get the best deal:
- Determine the type of vehicle you need and your budget.
- Test drive the car.
- Don't buy any add-ons.
- Inform sellers in advance that they will not take you for a walk.
- Do everything you can to negotiate the car loan and lower the purchase price.
- Make sure monthly payments are attached to a reasonable loan term.
- Research prices online before visiting a dealership.
- Buy during year-end sales.
- Negotiate the real price of the car instead of the monthly payment.
- Check for mechanical or maintenance problems.
- Ask your insurance representative how much it will cost to insure.
- Supplement regular insurance if your car is destroyed or stolen.