Five Car Buying Tips

November 28, 2018
Woman in car at dealership
How to Buy a Car or Truck
Who doesn’t get a thrill from looking for a new car? Approaching the process with a defined plan of action will help keep the experience enjoyable and purposeful. Here are five tips to help you plan your car buying journey.
 
  1. Figure out if you Should Buy or Lease. It’s tempting to get excited by great lease deals, but there are advantages and disadvantages to both. It’s important to determine ahead of time which option is best for you. Do you drive long distances? Is the latest technology important to you? How about warranties? All of these factors matter when trying to decide which way to go. Take our quiz to help you determine whether buying or leasing your next car or truck is the best option for you.
 
  1. New or Used? If you’re going to purchase your new car or truck, rather than lease it, the next thing to determine is if you should buy a new or used vehicle. Much like buy or leasing, there are pros and cons to both. From depreciation to warranties, there’s a lot to consider when making this decision. Watch this brief video for an explanation of the differences between buying a new or used car, and then determine which option meets your needs.  
  2. Get pre-approved. Getting pre-approved for a car loan means you have your financing already lined up, and removes the pressure of figuring out how to pay for your new car or truck right away. It also gives you the freedom of knowing exactly how much you can afford, helping you to narrow your search.  Are you ready for preapproval? Click here to get started.
 
  1. Shop! Once you’ve figured out how much you can afford, whether you’re buying or leasing, and if you’re looking at new or used cars and trucks, you can start shopping! It can be fun to visit dealerships and see the cars in person, but it helps if you narrow your search to get some idea of which dealers have the car or truck you’re looking for. Click here to use our convenient online car shopping tool, Autosmart, connecting you to dealers that have exactly what you want.
 
  1. Determine cost of ownership. Owning a new car or truck is going to cost more than just your monthly payment. Once you have an idea of which car you’re considering, consider the following factors when determining how much car you can afford:
    1. Maintenance. Think about things like oil changes, routine repairs, even emergency costs.
    2. Gas. Fuel efficiency should be a consideration, especially if you drive a lot of miles. Factor in an estimate of how much you’ll be spending on fueling up your new car or truck.
    3. Taxes and Fees. Determine what sales tax will be charged and add it to the cost of your vehicle. Also consider things like registration and inspection costs.
    4. Insurance. A new car or truck will impact your insurance premium. Get an estimate of just how much it will impact your insurance and factor that into your monthly costs.
Want more car-buying help? Click here to download our free Drive Away Happy eBook!