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June 8, 2021
Purchasing a brand new car is a big decision, and you want to make sure you have all of the right information to make a good one.
Asking the right questions before buying a new car can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Here are some of the top questions to ask when buying a new car.
What are the differences between buying new versus buying used?
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Even if you need to upgrade your car, buying new is not the only option. You could also consider buying used or leasing a new car. Before purchasing a brand new car, evaluate your needs to determine if buying a new one is the best for you.
Buying a new car is a chance to get something that is a better fit for you than your current car. Before diving into the features and specs you want, take a look at your current car. What do you love about it? What do you wish you could change? Examining your likes and dislikes for your current car gives you a great starting point to guide your new car buying process.
Starting your new car search without a clear budget is a big mistake that can easily get you in over your head. Determine what your budget is before beginning to look. For most people, it’s helpful to consider their budget for monthly payments. Make sure to leave a little room in your budget for unexpected expenses or to pay off your loan faster.
Simplify your new car search by determining what you are looking for. Consider qualities like size, comfort, fuel efficiency, reliability, safety, and more. Evaluate your lifestyle to figure out the type of vehicle you actually need.
The safety of a vehicle is extremely important, especially for those with kids or frequent passengers. Modern cars often include many advanced safety features that buyers could miss unless they ask.
It can be easy to overlook the future and focus on your current new car needs and wants. Don’t just think about your family’s needs now, consider the future as well. The last thing you want to do is sell the car within a year or two because it no longer meets your needs.
You can either pay cash, arrange financing through a bank or credit union, or use dealer financing. Assess which payment method works best for you based on your monthly budget, savings, additional expenses, and preapproval rates.
Most new car dealers provide financing options. However, they often have higher interest rates to ensure profitability on their financing. Come ready with third-party financing preapprovals and ask the dealer if they can beat them.
Typically, buying a new car increases insurance premiums. Contact your insurance company to find out how much buying a new car will increase insurance. If you already have a few specific makes and models you are looking at, ask the insurance company specifically about those vehicles. Many insurance companies have online tools you can use to examine your costs with different vehicles.
Cars under 10 years old with under 100,000 miles may be eligible for a dealer trade-in. If you plan to trade in your car, negotiate this separately from your new car purchase price. Older cars or those with more miles would fair better via private sale. Of course, you can always keep your old car, especially if you have teens nearing the age of learning to drive. If you plan to trade in or sell your old car, ask the dealer if they can beat the appraisals you’ve gotten for its value.
Once you’ve found a vehicle or handful of vehicles you’re interested in, check out the customer reviews. Check car forums and third-party review sites to find out what real owners of the vehicle have to say. They will likely mention things you may not have considered and can help you learn what you need to make a wise decision.
You’d think new cars would have essentially no miles, but that’s not always the case. Some dealers may allow people to test drive the cars on the lot and still market them as new. Find out how many times it’s been test-driven and what the mileage is.
Always test drive before buying a new car. You should test drive the same make and model as the car you are looking at. A test drive around the block won’t give you a clear idea of how the car handles your typical driving. Ask to drive it on the highway or anywhere else you typically drive.
In addition to test driving the new vehicle you want, also ask to test drive a used version (at least three years old) of the car. This will give you a great idea of how the car ages and what it will be like to drive a few years down the road.
New cars include warranties, but the warranty length and terms can vary based on the manufacturer and dealer. You want to make sure you know the details of the warranty terms before purchasing a car.
Warranties only cover a few years or a handful of miles. After the warranty runs out, you’ll be responsible for all maintenance and repairs. You want to get a good idea of how much this will cost over the vehicle's lifetime.
Dealers often have several incentives available for new cars, and many incentives can be combined for great savings. Not all incentives are advertised to the same extent. Ask about incentives available to you and ask the dealer if they can beat any other incentives you’ve seen or gotten from other dealers.
Do not negotiate a new car based on just the sales price. You need to know the out-the-door price to assess the total cost of purchasing the vehicle. The out-the-door price includes dealership fees, title, tax, and licensing fees. Most dealers will not provide this value unless asked.
Always review the purchase agreement before signing to buy the car. This way you can see a breakdown of all fees and services and eliminate any add-ons you do not need.
Car shoppers who are shopping online or at a dealership far away should inquire about delivery. Again, wait until the end of the purchasing negotiation to discuss delivery. If the dealership does delivery, make sure to find out about any delivery fees, the expected delivery time, and more.
Reliable, knowledgeable dealers can give you a compelling answer to this tough question. Common answers will be low prices, service, and selection, but those are not differentiators. Consider a car dealer who goes beyond a surface-level response and can explain the value they offer.
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Posted in Car Buying Tips |