Whether this is your very first car or an upgraded vehicle, it is always exciting when purchasing a new (or new-to-you) car. However, prices on cars have consistently risen over the years—and exponentially so since 2020 due to manufacturer shortages—and deciding to purchase a new vehicle also includes making a huge financial commitment.
It is important to make sure you know how to be prepared for a large financial purchase before you buy and what to look out for during the car buying process. We are going to help you prepare by discussing the most common mistakes made when buying a new car and how to avoid them so you can drive away in your new car confident you made a well-informed decision.
When looking to buy a new car there are tons of options available to choose from such as the year, make, model, color, and any upgraded features. Each factor of these choices will have some impact on your overall purchase price for the vehicle you choose. With so much to choose from, it only makes sense to complete research prior to buying in order to determine the vehicle that will best fit your lifestyle, needs, and budget.
One important feature that should always be researched no matter what type of car you are buying is the vehicle’s safety ratings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety offers a comprehensive safety rating guide that is categorized by the vehicle’s make and model. Besides the vehicle’s safety rating, there are likely many other features you will want to consider to ensure the vehicle will meet your personal needs and lifestyle. For this research, try searching for websites with several best/worst lists, such as “best family vehicles” or “best sports cars”, a great place to start with this research is Consumer Reports and Google.
One of the first questions you will be asked when walking on to a car lot is probably “do you have a trade-in?” But revealing this information too early on in the car buying process can be a mistake for the buyer. If the dealer knows you have a trade-in available, they are likely to use your trade-in to work the numbers of the sale in their favor. They may offer you more on your trade-in value, but then raise the cost of the new vehicle (or rather, not negotiate as low as they can). Instead, a buyer should first negotiate the best rate they can on the vehicle they are buying and then reveal information about their trade-in to be added into the deal. Doing your research on your trade-in prior to going car shopping is also important, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends knowing your trade-in’s value from Kelley Blue Book or the National Automobile Dealer Association to ensure you are getting what your trade-in is worth in your negotiations.
When buying a new car, it is very common for people to keep the existing car insurance policy they currently have and switch it over to their new vehicle. However, just because one policy was right for the vehicle you had previously, doesn’t mean it will be the best policy for your new car.
Many people don’t have the best automobile policy for their needs to begin with. When purchasing a new vehicle, you want to make sure you protect your financial commitment and investment by making sure your automobile insurance policy includes all the coverage you will need for your new car and is the best rate available to you.