The Smart Consumer’s Guide
With car lots full of shiny paint, incredible features, and low monthly payments–the research you do before hand will be your saving grace when it comes to making an educated purchase.
Buying a car can be one of the most exciting purchases you make. Use the following tips to improve your overall shopping experience and best prepare you for choosing a car that fits all of your personal needs.
SET YOUR BUDGET:
Before getting your heart set on a car that could break the bank, you need to calculate your estimated price range. To avoid getting in over your head, follow the general rule of thumb that payments shouldn’t exceed more than 20 percent of your monthly take-home pay.
Start your search on sites that allow you to browse and compare vehicles from various automakers side by side, so you can learn how they stack up. One of the leading sites, Edmunds.com, has been a trusted and reliable online shopping resource for 20 years and offers tools that will make your car shopping journey much easier.
PICK THE BEST CAR FOR YOU:
The type of car you choose should reflect your lifestyle. Narrow your options by considering how you’ll use the car on a daily basis. Ask yourself questions, like, how many passengers you’ll need to accommodate; whether you typically drive on the highway, in the city or off-road; and how much cargo space you’ll need. This will be your car for years to come, and it is important that it will be the best fit for your needs.
USE THE WEB:
Before heading out the door, review a listing of the available cars in your area from the comfort of your own home. Do some online research to view local cars for sale, find car reviews and view dealer ratings. The more you know before you step on the car lot, the better.
LOCK DOWN THE PRICE:
Once you’ve found the car you would like to purchase, the next step is to obtain price quotes from a few different dealers and compare them with the market value. You can bypass the negotiation process and secure a fair price upfront by getting an Edmunds Price Promise certificate, which is a dealer guaranteed, vehicle specific price quote. Take the price certificate along with you to the dealer to simplify the purchasing process.
Once you have the car in mind and a price in hand, arrange for a test drive and move forward with the purchase. By following these tips before you step foot on the sales lot, the entire car buying process should be a much more enjoyable experience.