What You Need to Know Before Buying a Car

Published: 17th August 2015
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Purchasing a car is a major investment of both your time and your hard earned money. Buying a vehicle should be an enjoyable event and the dealership you choose to work with should help you along the way. Car buying is complicated; there are budget constraints and so many facets to selecting the right car. The vehicle depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot; so you need to choose a reliable, popular vehicle that will hold its value well. Still, new care are the nicest to purchase because it's certain not to have any maintenance issues, and most cars manufactured now are terrific on gas.

Vehicle Financing

Loans on cars are much like any other loan, initially there are more interest payments up front until you get further down towards the end of the term; but don't let that be intimidating. Working with a good dealership can help you to fully understand you're financing before you agree to any loan. It begins with understanding the price point on your purchase, whether on a new or old vehicle the total price becomes part of your bargaining power. There also comes a time during car shopping where you just have to evaluate when it is a good purchase even if you have to give a little leeway to the final price tag. Some people feel that going to a car dealership is like walking into the jungle unarmed but it really is nothing of the sort with a credible dealer. The only negotiation is on the final price, so don't let the last step inhibit you from all the important steps prior to sitting down to talk price. The dealer wants to work with you to make the purchase the right one for you. Clearing your mind of the negatives of car shopping and making it more of a communication process will make it far better for you.

Where You Need to Start When Looking For a Car

You have heard it before, but it bears repeating, research, research, and research before you start to consider which car to buy. Know what your needs in a vehicle are, what you expect from your vehicle and how long you intend to own it, and how much driving you will actually do each year. Balance the price against that equation and determine if the models you have selected support your needs for the value. If you walk into a dealership and do not know specifically what you are looking for you will end up not considering these important factors because you fall in love with a certain car model. Despite the value on the vehicle and you might end up with a vehicle that does not meet your everyday needs. Prepare a list and include: gas mileage requirements; space requirements; number of passengers; type of seating; visual requirements; climate control; special needs for easy entrance and exit to the vehicle; trunk space requirements; spare tire accessibility; road service and consider them all as part of the purchase decision. All of these items tie into the price of the car and whether it is worth your spending your hard earned dollars on the vehicle. Read articles and reviews on the vehicles you are considering buying. Invest the time to read articles on car shopping. There are free guides available to help you through the process.

Which Car Should You Choose?

Usually customers know which models they are interested in. However, do not forget to ask what other models the dealer has that may be comparable in quality, style, price and options. You never know what you may be overlooking that may work out better for you. Plan on taking away all facts and figures regarding your purchase and review the information off the premises. Even if you just go down the street and grab a coffee and take a break. Unless it's the most amazing deal you have ever been offered, it pays to spend some time thinking it over before jumping at any offer. Try to have an idea of what the invoice price is so you can estimate what price will work with your dealer.

Should You Finance Through The Dealership?

Often time's cars have specific financing options attached to them from the manufacturer that no bank can beat. Work with your dealer to understand the options, read the finance agreements and ask about rebates and incentives. Sometimes putting more cash down has a rebate effect or incentive attached that lowers your rate significantly, making it worth the extra few hundred dollars in the long run. Again, take your information away with you. Run it through a payment calculator, see what changes you can manage - possibly a higher monthly payment for a shorter duration, anything you can do to save yourself money. Plus, compare the plan offered from the dealer with your banks options or the local credit union rate. You may find that financing away from the dealer is better for you.

Once you decide what car you need to find the dealership that carries the brand you're looking for. Search the internet and local ads. Once you have decided to visit the dealer check their standing with the business bureau to see if there are any issues or complaints with the company. If all is in good standing, then go for a visit. Bring you notes and homework with you and negotiate with your dealer.

About The Author

Toby Jackson is a contributing author who enjoys researching Cincinnati car dealerships for his readers. He can contact the dealership by calling them at 866-668-4106 or by visiting their lot at 9857 Kings Auto Mall Road, Cincinnati, OH 45249.

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