Avoid These Common Mistakes When Buying a Car

buying a car

Are you ready to replace your current vehicle? Avoid these common car-buying mistakes to help save money but also the misfortune of getting stuck with a lemon for several years. These tips could help prepare you for when you go to the dealership:

1. Not doing previous research

Believe it or not, some people arrive at the dealership without knowing what kind of vehicle they are looking to purchase. They haven’t done prior research about the model they’re interested in and therefore do not have much insight into pricing, features, mileage, or reported recalls.

Doing research is crucial not only to know the type of vehicle you’re planning to get but also to see if a similar model is better for you and your family. Don’t look at just one vehicle; look at other makes and models available on the market. Check out an Edmunds internet car website for free reviews of new and used vehicles.

2. Shopping at one dealership

What if another dealership offers a better deal? While it’s time-consuming to visit several dealerships in search of your ideal car, it could be worth the effort.

Buying a new vehicle is a long-term commitment, and making sure you get the best deal for it is essential. Visit at least three dealerships, and negotiate the best possible deal with each of them. Let them know you’re shopping around and if one of the other dealers you’ve visited is offering a better monthly payment or lower financing interest rate. Doing so may encourage the salesperson to match their competitor’s offer.

3. Not doing a test drive

Test driving a vehicle is crucial before settling for one car. Surprisingly, skipping the test drive is one of the most common car-buying mistakes people make. Do not buy a vehicle before you go on a test drive! Most dealers allow you to go on a short drive to get a feel for the car.

Pay attention to the following when you start driving:

  • Ask the salesperson to explain how the car operates. Where are the turn signals? Is there anything unusual about the transmission? How does the navigation system work?
  • Drive in an area that is similar to your daily commute. Doing so allows you to see how the vehicle handles high speeds, how it stops, or how smoothly it accelerates.
  • Are you comfortable in the car? You’re going to spend many hours behind the wheel, so it’s always important to pay attention to comfort.

4. Not speaking to your insurance company

As soon as you select a particular year, make, and model, go ahead and give your agent a call before going to the dealership. This is an important step that people often overlook, but knowing whether your premium is going to increase can help you better negotiate a rate with the salesperson at the dealership.

Infinity Insurance offers competitive auto insurance plans for drivers. Speak to one of our agents today if you’re thinking of buying a new car.

5. Only focusing on the monthly payment

One of the most common car-buying mistakes people make is focusing too much on the monthly payment. Salespeople are aware of this and use different tactics to avoid focusing on the price of the vehicle and steer the conversation toward your monthly payment.

The price of the vehicle and its financing are separate issues. Have one conversation at a time with the salesperson. Start with the price of the car first by negotiating an amount you feel comfortable with. Once you get the price you want, then bring up the discussion about your financing or leasing options.

It’s also essential to do an appraisal of your current vehicle if you intend to trade it in. Negotiate the rate right after you agree on your new car’s price.

6. Not looking at financing options

Why would you spend hours negotiating the price of your selected model if you’re going to settle for any financing option? Speak to your bank first and ask what the interest rate would be if you financed it with them.

Car loans can range from as low as 0% to 6%. Always strive to get the lowest possible interest rate to reduce your monthly payment.

7. Not having a mechanic inspect the used car

All the above-mentioned tips apply to new and used vehicles. However, if you’re planning on buying a previously owned vehicle, it’s also important to have it inspected before you close the deal.

Speak to the car owner or salesperson and insist on taking it to a shop so a mechanic can run a thorough inspection. We also recommend asking whether the vehicle has a clean title or is salvaged. Negotiate a price based on these findings.

Avoiding these common car-buying mistakes may help you save money, and it also helps ensure you buy a vehicle you’re actually comfortable with. Before you leave the dealership, be sure your auto insurance is up-to-date. Speak with one of your friendly agents at 1-800-INFINITY or visit our website to receive a quote within minutes.

The materials available in the Knowledge Center are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact legal counsel to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of this website or any of the links contained within the website do not create representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.