Don't Make These 5 Mistakes When Buying a New Vehicle
It's exciting to purchase a new car--especially if it's your first time. And while we understand why you "have to buy" the first one you "fall in love with," we'd like remind you that purchasing a vehicle is almost like choosing a life partner--you have to know them inside-out before you decide to take that leap.
The good thing about buying new cars is that they're far less complicated than humans (and quasi-humans). They also smell better--at least initially. What's more, they often come with good discounts and freebies to lure you into helpless submission. So yes, the entire experience is well worth it--if you avoid these common mistakes when purchasing a new vehicle:
Mistake #1: Letting impulse overrule your thinking
Some car buyers just walk into a dealership, and then choose a vehicle they like. That's a big mistake. A more sensible way to do this is to first list down what your needs are in buying a car, set your budget, do a thorough research online (and offline) about a car model, check out the available financing options, read and ask feedback from customers--then make your decision.
And sleep on it, if you can. You might impulsively pass on a particular model that's right for you because you're too depressed from missing the final season of Game of Thrones, Episode 3. When in doubt, ask yourself this life-changing question: What would Jon Snow do?
The answer will (hopefully) point you in the right direction.
Mistake #2: Not having a "car expert" to accompany you
Your mechanic--or any person who knows a lot about cars--can point out to you the pros and cons of the model you want to buy. Let them tag along in your vehicle "shopping". And let their voice of reason save you from adding in that diamond-studded wine cooler in the armrest (especially when you don't even drink alcohol in the first place).
Mistake #3: Immediately saying "yes" to the "sticker price"
The sticker price on the vehicle is just surface talk; the real goodies are actually way down under--and often unspoken. So when doing negotiations, think "Titanic Iceberg" here: Deep--and longer than the movie.
The tip's boring; what's down under is way more interesting. It requires effort, though. So do your research beforehand. Check out other prices so you can give a reasonable and fair price when you negotiate with the dealer. Research online and find out what their real prices are--subtract from the sticker price all those sales incentives and other miscellaneous (and hidden) fees. Also make sure to factor in long-term maintenance and insurance costs in your calculations when negotiating for the price.
Mistake #4: Not taking the test-drive seriously
There's the test-drive; and then there's the test-drive. Please don't do be lazy and settle with the former one--it's not enough to just drive it around the block and make your decision. Drive it on highways, on bumpy and inclined roads, on a parking lot, during traffic, with your wife nagging while you drive, and etc. Check its noise level, and feel how well it absorbs those road bumps ahead. And don' forget to check the air-conditioner, the infotainment system, and other gadgets to see if their buttons and dials are user-friendly. The last thing you want is your mother complaining that there are "no dials" in the radio.
Mistake #5: Starting out late
Don't buy late in the afternoon; start out early in the morning so you have a lot of time to go to other dealerships and ask around. For all you know, a rare dealer might offer better discounts and freebies compared to the rest. And really--there's nothing better in life than getting something for free.