Empowered Car Buying

When purchasing a car what is your first step?  Many people do not know what that first step is, or even where to go after the first step.  It is often a stressful time, but it shouldn’t be.  Just a few simple steps should make the process very simple and you will be on your way to less stressful car buying.    

So back to my question, What is your first step? Choosing a car.  This is the fun part right?  Well it should be anyway. There are so many cars out there to choose from and car makers are very innovative.  Things are constantly changing and cars are getting safer.  Once you decide what style of car (i.e. SUV, minivan, small car, sports car, luxury car, pick up truck etc.) then you can start window shopping so to speak as to what specific car you would like.  That takes to the important Second Step, Research. 

Research is so much easier now with the power of the internet.  You are on the internet now so you have already taken that powerful step.  There are an endless number of places to look.  You can find out what the safety rating of the car is, the average gas mileage, the base model price and even what features are available.  What is the “sticker price” of the vehicle?  You can find all this out online.  What exactly is “sticker price”?  it is the price set by the manufacturer and stuck on the sticker in the vehicle before it leave the manufacturer.  Don’t forget when you start adding options to your new purchase that you pay for these,  so you need to decide what is absolutely necessary for you to have on your new car.  Are there features you can not live without.  One of my sisters thought  she couldn’t  live without a sunroof until she had children.  Then her priorities changed, now she can’t live without a 3rd row seat.   Only you can know what features you absolutely must have.  Make a list of these things before you go to the dealership and your buying experience will be more pleasant.

Step 3, How am I going to pay for this?  You have chosen the car, you have done the research and know exactly what you want, now how are you going to finance it?  There are a lot of options when it comes to paying for your new vehicle.  You can pay cash of course if you just happen to have that kind of cash lying around.  Most people go with the financing option.  I financed for 5 years to make my payments manageable for me.  There is nothing wrong with going ahead and getting financing before you come to the dealership.   Many people have a credit union they can finance through, or their bank.  My bank offered me a great rate because I use them for everything including my previous car loan.  If none of these options are available to you then you may be able to finance once you get to the dealership.  Don’t forget that dealerships have relationships with banks and can often get you financed when you did not know what to do.  Many dealerships have their own finance companies as well.  If you don’t get your own financing before you get to the dealership then financing may become your last step.

Now you are ready to go out and locate that chosen vehicle, which is step 4.   You already know exactly what it is you want, your list is made of options you must have, you know the style and color, you have the financing , so you have to find the dealership.  Internet shopping is invaluable.  You can locate the car you want and even schedule an appointment to see a salesperson by shopping online.  Nothing beats actually going in and looking at the vehicle, test driving and making sure it is the right color and feel.  But you have all the tools you need so that you can tell your salesperson what you want before you get there and they can do the search and find it for you rather than you walking the lot.  Now if you are the type of person who prefers to walk onto the lot and locate the vehicle for yourself that is perfectly acceptable as well.  You still have your list of options to tell the salesperson.  If it turns out that the vehicle you chose is not exactly what you wanted after all you may just find something better suited for you.  Your salesperson can help you with that search if this is the case.

Now you are armed with 4 basic steps you need to find the car you want.  Happy Shopping!!

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