Car buying tips

32 tips when buying a car!

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1. Decide on the type of car based on the need

You may think that the era of cheap performance of the 60s and early 70s muscle cars is long gone but you would be wrong. In fact, there are more cheap and fast cars on the market today than ever before, and there are various interesting choices for enthusiasts. You can really get anything and with the advance in technology, you can get performance levels of early 90s supercars for the price of an ordinary family sedan. Here are a few pieces of advice for people looking for an affordable but fast ride.

1. Roadster, muscle car, hot hatch…

First, you have to decide what kind of performance car you are looking for. You can have a small roadster, a rear wheel drive V8 powered muscle car or an FWD turbocharged hot hatch. What is most appealing for you and can you see yourself driving any of these cars. On the other hand, there is an interesting selection of performance sedans and even a few hot compact SUVs. The decision is tough but once you decided what is the one for you, you can go to the next step.

2. The budget

Performance always costs money, and you can’t avoid paying more if you want a fast car. However, don’t worry. You still are in the affordable zone and there are some very interesting bargains on the market that cost just a fraction above the regular car price but offer so much more in terms of driving dynamics and pure driving feel. Best advice is to set a budget and stick to it.

3. Power isn’t always the answer

It sounds funny but it is true, power isn’t always the answer and sometimes less powerful cars can be more entertaining and fun than the cars with big engines and enormous power. The key is the way they drive, and you can have as much fun in a 25.000$ Mazda Miata with measly 160 bhp as in a 350 bhp Porsche 911 which costs over 100.000$. So, do not buy a car with its power output thinking it is going to guarantee you a great driving experience, but base your purchase decision on driving feel and your personal preferences.

4. Always test drive the car

If you are a new car buyer and you don’t have experience in performance car field, always look for advice from the experts and test drive the car before you buy it. Not only you will get yourself familiar with the vehicle but you will see how different cars or even different types of cars drive. This can make you change your decision but it will ultimately help you buy the best affordable performance car for you and your driving style.

Cars with more space (minivans)

Since the introduction of the Minivan class, it has been a global bestseller combining the practicality of a station wagon, car-like performance, and versatility of a mini bus. No wonder it is so popular around the globe and you can’t even imagine a big family without one. Since there are so many Minivans on the market we have compiled a few important pieces of advice for future buyers.

5. Affordability

If you are buying a minivan it means you have a family, right? And if you have a family, it means you have to buy things on a budget. So, before you go shopping for your new family transportation, calculate how much you can spend and what is an ok price for you. There are a lot of different offerings on the market and minivans can be bought pretty cheap in base trim levels, and go really high if you optioned for everything on the list, so do your math and find the best deal for you and your family.

6. Number of seats

Seating number is very important since you’re buying a minivan because you want to transport a number of people. Most base models offer regular seating for five, but the latest models have seven seats as standard. If you have a big family, you should choose the latter. However, be careful because in most cases, if you have 7 seats you will have limited space in the trunk so keep that in mind when shopping for a new minivan.

7. Engine and drive train options

Nobody buys a minivan to go racing and you won’t be drag racing it, so you don’t really need big block V8 power with 500 bhp. However, you’ll need something else. If you are living in a continental climate with snowy winters and challenging road conditions, you want to have all-wheel-drive as a desired option on your minivan. Since you are transporting your family you don’t want to take any chances when it comes to snow and ice, and in that case, we will recommend you to choose all-wheel drivetrain package if available.

8. Options

The list of available equipment and convenience options in minivans is an important factor for most of the buyers. Not only you want comfort for you and the occupants, but you want all that is available. For example, you’ll probably want infotainment systems for the kids or multiple sunroofs for enjoyable travel. But be careful, if you get too carried away with the options list, it can be very costly.

Utility cars for office commute

For most people, driving to and from the work is a part of daily routine. In fact, average driver spends hours every week in a car commuting and having the right car for that purpose can make a big difference. Here are a couple of things you should know and take into consideration before you go shopping for an office commute car.

9. Practicality

Your office commute car needs to be practical and cheap. You have to decide if you are going to buy a car just for going to and from the office, or if it’s going to be a grocery-getter and something else. In that case, practicality is the biggest aspect of this purchase. Also, do you go to work alone or you carpool with your colleagues? If you have company during your daily commute, you should consider a 4 door sedan or a bigger 5 door hatchback since they offer enough space for occupants and they are affordable.

10. Fuel economy

You’ll want a car that is easy on the gas and it is important that your daily commute is not a gas guzzler. It may sound strange, but an economical car can save you big, especially if you travel long distance for work each day. There are a lot of good and economical small cars on the market which have small displacement engines and great fuel economy. You can even buy a hybrid, but those cars are more expensive in the first place, so you will be better off with a Ford Fiesta with a small 1.6-liter gasoline engine.

11. Dependability

If you are looking for an office commute car, you are looking for something that will get you where you want to go without any problems. So, you are looking for a dependable and well made vehicle. Our advice is to look for low spec models without any complicated technical components or advanced engines. A simpler car means there are fewer things to break and ultimately more dependable vehicle.

12. Do not go crazy with the options

Almost any new vehicle on the market is offered with numerous convenience options and a buyer can really lose himself in all the trim levels or electronic gadgets which are available. But, do you really need all that if the car you driving is only for going to work? Do not let a dealer fool you into paying for infotainment systems and big touch screens that you’ll actually never going to use. You only need a good A/C and safety systems and nothing else. Keep in mind that you want basic transportation, not a show piece with thousands of dollars over the base price.


2. Follow this process to buy the car:

13. One of the most important tips when buying a car is to know your budget and decide on a car. You will be spending a lot of time going ba
ck and forth on the make once you start the process based on your budget. Knowing before hand makes it easy.

14. Once you know the make and model and have a set budget, research online on the pricing provided by various local dealers. Do not visit a showroom if you are still researching. Chances are the pushy salesmen will sell you something!

15. If you’re in no rush to buy a car, the end of a model year is a great time to get a deal. Determining when this is for a particular car can be difficult, but if a dealer has two years of a new vehicle on its lot (say, 2015s and 2016s), chances are the older ones are going to be priced to move. The last week of the year is another good time to buy. You’ll find lots of specials and manufacturer incentives at both times of year.

16. If you’re looking to get information on a car or talk about a deal, but you aren’t quite ready to buy, a weekday afternoon is a great time to go visit a dealership. You’ll get more personal attention than you would on a busy weekend. But make sure you can deal with the pushy salesmen. Do not commit into buying a car if you are just looking.

17. Be careful when you listen to dealership suggestions. Most are designed to make the salesman a profit. They are never your friends.

18. If you’ve already picked out a car from a dealership’s online inventory and worked out a price, do as much of the deal paperwork you can get over the phone. In many cases, you can be in and out of a dealership in less than couple of hours if you started the deal-making process online and over the phone. 

19. Test-drives are still an important part of car buying. But it is not as important as the dealership folks will tell you. They would want you to make an appointment to test drive the car. In this age of internet, you have most data available online. People have done the test drive for you and written reviews already. Why go to a dealership and get committed into buying when you can read it online! Test drive is the notorious way to get you into their dealership and make you commit.

20. If you are good negotiator, do it yourself. You will save a ton of money on the car. But if you are not, a service like ours can help. 

21. Check your insurance rates on the car you’re looking to buy before you buy it. This is one that people often forget to do when car shopping, and it can really come back to bite them.

22. Make sure you really like the car you’re buying and that it really meets your needs. It sounds so obvious, but go check how many one- and two-year-old used cars sit on car lots. Most of them are trade-ins from people who just bought the wrong car. Take your time and make the right choice.

23. When deciding where to buy, read online reviews to help you pick a dealership. In addition to checking their ratings, see if the dealerships you’re considering include free perks such as lifetime oil changes or free car washes. 

24. It’s smart to ask if you can drive the car home and park it in your garage. Most dealerships will go along. Yes, I have seen people buy cars that didn’t fit their garage or parking spot. There’s no clause in the sales contract for returning a car because it doesn’t fit your garage.

25. If you’re serious about your music, bring some along to test out the vehicle’s audio system. Stereo specs don’t tell the whole story.

26. Dealership are notorious in selling you additional warranties. Do not take more than the factory warranty. You can negotiate on warranty price too. 

27. Shop around. Get 4 or 5 quotes from different dealers for the same car. Tell them you are getting better deal from the other dealer so that you can get a better offer. You will get best deals in the month end when salesmen have a quote to meet and are more willing to negotiate. Get all the details of the offer in the email. Get an OTD (Out the door) price which includes taxes, license and registration. This will ensure there are no surprises! Do not visit the showroom without this email!

28. Get a good explanation of your new car’s features. There are so many people who traded in cars after years of owning them without ever knowing how to use some of the features. And in some cases, they didn’t even know the car had a particular feature.

29. If you’re unsure of your credit standing (or you know it’s bad), bring a copy of your paycheck and a home utility bill to the dealership to prove you have income and to confirm your home address.

30. When you’re car shopping with iffy credit and you want the dealership to arrange the loan, go there while banks are open. Note that dealerships make money through financing. If you are financing through them, you can ask for lower price for the car.

31. There is something called invoice price which the dealer pays the car manufacturer to buy the car. Ask for the invoice price and then negotiate the price. Even if the dealer sells you the car at the invoice price, they will still make money as the manufacturer factors in the profit of the dealer in this price! Also there are incentives for a dealer when they meet certain quota. So do not be scared to ask at the invoice price!

32. When you finally decide to go the dealership, be prepared. Chances are you will sign the contract that day. Take someone with you to help you say no if you don’t like the deal. Yes, the pushy salesmen can be sometimes intimidating!

Some additional tips on used car buying here.


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