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Dorofei Bragin
Dorofei Bragin

What You Need To Know When Buying A Car ((EXCLUSIVE))

"The single best advice I can give to people is to get preapproved for a car loan from your bank, a credit union or an online lender," says Philip Reed. He's the autos editor at the personal finance site NerdWallet. He also worked undercover at an auto dealership to learn the secrets of the business when he worked for the car-buying site So Reed is going to pull back the curtain on the car-buying game.

what you need to know when buying a car

So Reed says having that preapproval can be a valuable card to have in your hand in the car-buying game. It can help you negotiate a better rate. "The preapproval will act as a bargaining chip," he says. "If you're preapproved at 4.5%, the dealer says, 'Hey, you know, I can get you 3.5. Would you be interested?' And it's a good idea to take it, but make sure all of the terms, meaning the down payment and the length of the loan, remain the same."

So at the dealership, Reed and Van Alst both say, the first step is to start with the price of the vehicle you are buying. The salesperson at the dealership will often want to know if you're planning to trade in another car and whether you're also looking to get a loan through the dealership. Reed says don't answer those questions! That makes the game too complicated, and you're playing against pros. If you negotiate a really good purchase price on the car, they might jack up the interest rate to make extra money on you that way or lowball you on your trade-in. They can juggle all those factors in their head at once. You don't want to. Keep it simple. One thing at a time.

"We're actually living in a golden age of used cars," says Reed. "I mean, the reliability of used cars is remarkable these days." Reed says there is an endless river of cars coming off three-year leases that are in very good shape. And even cars that are older than that, he says, are definitely worth considering. "You know, people are buying good used cars at a hundred-thousand miles and driving them for another hundred-thousand miles," says Reed. "So I'm a big fan of buying a used car as a way to save money."

With prices so high, shoppers also need to keep a close eye on their budget. "There is no point in test driving a car if it turns out you can't afford it," said Tom McParland, who runs the vehicle-buying service Automatch Consulting and writes about consumer issues and the automotive industry for Jalopnik.

Buying a new car is one of the most important decisions you will likely ever make, mainly because a car purchase is such a costly decision. The car-buying process can also be lengthy and unpleasant if you are not prepared. Fortunately for you, there are several things you can do and several things you should know before and during the car-buying process.

Things like knowing the trade-in value of your old car, knowing how much you can afford for a new or pre-owned car, knowing your finance options, knowing the total cost of the specific car you want rather than just the sticker price, and knowing what you need are all important in getting you the best price on any vehicle.

One of the most underestimated aspects of buying a car is understanding your needs. Most people know what they need to some extent, but often, understanding and knowing turn into two separate things. And many people only consider what they need right now instead of considering long-term implications.

If you want to get the most out of your money, you need to ask yourself a few questions and answer them honestly. Do you really need a new car or will a used car work? Do you need a midsize SUV when a compact SUV will suffice? Do I need all-wheel-drive or will front-wheel-drive work, especially since I live in Phoenix, Arizona?

Remember, there is a difference between a want and a need. Many people can get what they want rather than what they need. Some people choose a combination of wants and needs. Whatever your particular situation may be, you should always answer the wants versus needs questions honestly so that you do not end up with a sports car when you really needed a pickup truck.

One of the best and easiest things to do as a prospective car buyer is to know what other vehicles are available on the market. Once you know how much you can afford and what exactly you need, you can start to shop around. The biggest mistake that any car buyer can make is to get set on one vehicle without looking to see what other car dealers have.

This tip is not so much about how you know, but rather, what you know. However, knowing that you are pre-approved for an auto loan before you start the car-buying process will make everything a tone easier. It works much the same as getting a pre-approved house loan. If you are pre-approved, you do not have to sit at the dealership wondering how long it will take to find a good lender or if you will get a good interest rate.

Getting pre-approved for a car loan does a few more things than just making buying a car easier, though. First, it can allow you to potentially get a car loan from your home bank. This may not mean getting the best loan terms or annual percentage rate, but it does mean getting a loan from people you know and trust rather than from a credit union or bank of whom you have never heard.

YouTube is also a great tool to use. Of course, there is a myriad of channels and mechanics that claim to know what they are talking about, but when you find consistencies between sites and channels, you know that there may be something more to a specific car model than meets the eye. You do not have to be a mechanic yourself to know a good car from a bad car, but you do have to be diligent.

Perhaps the most important thing to know when you are about to buy a new or used car is your game plan. You have done all of the necessary research, you have secured your car loan with your preferred lender, you have compared prices, and you have figured out exactly what you have to spend, and something happens to the one car you had your eyes on. That happens, and you can try again.

Buying a car is not unlike finding a job. It takes a little shopping around, it takes knowing your limits, and it takes knowing what you want versus what you need. It can take a long time, and it can be tiring, but if you put in the effort, you will be rewarded by potentially saving thousands of dollars.

These easy-to-use internet tools put you in a position to analyze your choices before making your final decision effortlessly. Avoid making the common mistake of impulse buying. A minor delay in automotive gratification is worth the time spent, especially when receiving that information from a trusted source.

You can count on car prices fluctuating as popularity, supply, and other factors change. In other words, if you are buying a popular car in short supply, when it first comes to market, you can expect to pay more.

Remember, at its core, buying an automobile is a business transaction, and it is one of the last purchasing experiences that still requires consumers to haggle. The more emotion you keep out of it, the better the final result. Knowing the buying process and how to navigate it is your best path to a smooth buying experience. As in any negotiation, both sides will have some give and take, so knowing where to be firm and where to be flexible is essential.

Buyers need to figure more than just the price of the car into their buying equation. Insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs can add up, so be sure to check those factors out as part of your new car research process.

The time to make decisions about buying those products is not at the end of a long buying process when you just want to drive your new car home. Before you purchase items such as paint protection, key insurance, or a vehicle service contract, go home and thoroughly research the product and alternatives. If the finance officer tells you that right now is your only opportunity to buy that extended warranty or other add-on, you should consider it a red flag to avoid the purchase.

If you're buying from a private party, you have no choice but to find your own financing. The process can be different for private-party buyers, so be sure to talk to your lender about what they'll need to move your loan application forward.

Community banks offer many of the same auto-lending services as large banks, but they do so with a smaller geographic footprint, fewer branches, and often a more personal touch. Like credit unions, community banks are great places for borrowers who need a bit more help to finance their used car purchase successfully. With their roots in the communities they serve, many will be able to offer tips about other businesses in the area that can help you through the car-buying process.

It is vital to have a monthly payment that fits into your household budget. Still, you need to look beyond the payment when comparing loan offers. You want to look at the total cost of the car, including its financing. Fortunately, it's easy to do. Just multiply the monthly payment by the number of months in the loan term, then add the amount of any down payment you're making and the value of your trade-in, if you have one.

While it's not a good idea to bring your kids along when looking at cars, it is a great idea to bring along their car seats. Not all child seats fit well in every car, and you'll want to know if yours do. The same goes for dog crates and other items you frequently carry.

Taking a test drive is one of the most critical tasks in buying a used car. However, the rules have changed due to the coronavirus pandemic. You need to place your personal safety above all else. You should insist on taking your test drive solo. If the seller refuses, either walk away, or set strict ground rules about mask-wearing, drive with the windows down, and ask them to sit as far away as possible.

It's more complicated when you buy a car in a private-party sale. One of you will have to create a bill of sale. It should note the date, mileage, price, and any special terms. Your lender may have a specific form they need you to use or require additional information to be included. In most cases, car sales between individuals are as-is transactions with no warranty coverage. If you negotiated repairs into the deal, they must be specified on the bill of sale. 041b061a72


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