It’s an exciting time when you go to purchase your first car. More often than not, this car will be a huge upgrade from the car that your parents let you drive. In my case, I was driving a 1993 Pontiac Bonneville which I couldn’t wait to get rid of. However, before you rush in and buy, here are a few Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind.
- Shop around for the best deal — Extremely Important!!! Chances are that the first dealership you stop buy will not have the best deal in town.
- Do lots of research before you head to any dealership — If you are like me and you don’t have a great deal of knowledge about cars this is a must. Being knowledgeable on your subject is important when negotiating. I checked around on autotrader.com and cars.com to compare prices for the car model I was interested in.
- Test drive — Always drive the ca before you purchase it. This should be obvious, but you want to drive it to ensure nothing is wrong. Try out everything you can think of and make sure you take it on the highway as well.
- Make sure you understand everything completely before you sign anything — Once you sign,it’s nearly impossible to get out of a contract. Make sure all you questions are answered to your liking before you sign,
- Buy the first time out — This is so important I had to put it twice. It can be tempting to want to get in the new car right away and drive off the lot, especially if you are being pressured by a salesman to buy. Remember, it is their job to not let you out the door without them making the sale. Don’t be impulsive and foolish. At a minimum, take a night to sleep on the idea and wake up with a clear head and make your decision. If you feel they have a great deal for you, ask them if that deal can stand until tomorrow while you think it over. More than likely once they see you are serious they will agree to that.
- Do not go in tired or hungry — Like I said earlier, the dealers job is to sell you a car right away. Part of a dealer’s tactics is to stall and keep you there as long as he can. This is for a few reasons. First, that is less time you have looking at another dealership. Most people only have limited free time. If you were planning on hitting up a few dealerships on Saturday but the first salesman stalls and keeps you there all day you obviously are more likely to buy from him since it’s the only car you saw all day! When I went to my first dealership I remember I spent nearly all my Saturday in there. Also, people tend to make hastier and poorer decisions when they are tired or hungry. Before you go in, make sure you are rested, well fed, and comfortable.
- Pay for things you don’t want or need — Make sure you carefully read the contract before you sign. If you don’t understand anything, ask! Don’t get conned into paying for something you do not want.
Keep these tips in mind and you should have no trouble getting yourself the best deal on your first car!