People often devote large amounts of time, money, and thought into purchasing their next vehicle. However, buying a new car should also be an exciting time! It often marks an important moment in life, whether it be a sweet 16, a new job, or finally saving up enough money for your own car. Nonetheless, buying a car can be a daunting task. With research and a bit of help from us, you can understand how to buy a car in 9 easy steps.
Set your budget
It’s no good deciding on a car and then realizing you won’t be able to afford the monthly payments. Therefore, it is important to budget properly so your car isn’t a huge strain on your monthly budget.
A good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 25% of your monthly income on your car. This figure should include your monthly car loan payments and all the other vehicle costs, including fuel and car insurance. For the monthly payment alone, you should aim for 15%.
Choose the right car
First, assess your needs. Factor in your hobbies, what you like to do on the weekends, how many people you haul, how much time you spend commuting. What about towing a trailer? Think about how much you’d like to spend on gas and how often you might need to fill up.
Check reliability and ownership costs
Whether you plan to buy a new or used car, the car’s reliability rating is a strong indicator of how much money you’ll spend on repairs — a key factor in determining your overall car ownership costs.
The cost of owning a cart goes far beyond what you pay for it. A key question is whether you can afford the extra costs of maintenance and repairs for as long as you own it. Remember, if you buy a $75,000 car, you are maintaining a $75,000 car for its entire life, the value of the vehicle goes down over time but the cost of maintaining it doesn’t.
Test-drive the car
While driving, take note of how the car drives. Are you comfortable driving it? Does it accelerate well, and breake properly? Is it easy to handle on the roads? Get a feel for what it would be like controlling the car on an everyday basis.
Locate your car
Cars.com and AutoTrader.com are two of the best sources to search for new car inventory. If you have a specific manufacturer in mind you can visit dealerships in the area that carry an inventory of used cars.
Find the right price
By researching the purchase price of specific vehicles that have the features and mileage you are looking for, you introduce competition to the car-buying process.
Get dealer quotes
Many online resources, such as Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds, can give you an estimate for comparable pricing and average prices of your vehicle model and make in the area. You may use this, along with offers from other dealerships, to negotiate the price.
Maximize trade-in value
If you’re looking to buy a new car, it might be worth considering trading in your current one to use as a downpayment.
- Clean your car
- Fix minor damage
- Make sure it’s fully roadworthy
- Get your paperwork ready
- Get an independent valuation
- Consider the timing
They’re simple little tips, but if you stick to them you could see a big difference in the kind of money you get for your car.
Seal the deal
CRS Automotive Hamilton has a great range of used and new cars for sale as well as a team of highly-skilled, professional dealers. Contact us today and let us help you find the right vehicle for you!