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For a middle class family, the two biggest investments are housing and car. So, if you are planning to buy your first car and clueless how to go about it, I am here to help you with a few tips from my personal experience which might help you to make a decision wisely:
Research and homework: Walking in casually to any outlet to explore the cars would not be a wise idea as you will end up nowhere and come back home totally confused. Moreover, the smart salesmen will smell and circle you like a prey. So, before visiting any dealer, do some research and don’t let them take you for a ride. Points to keep in mind are:
- What is your requirement, make, model, style of the car.
- How much you are willing to spend – the budget.
- What features you actually need and what are the extras which can be avoided like heated seats, built-in navigation, built-in music system which can be bought at a much better and less expensive price. VIN etching, rear camera, dealership maintenance plan, extended warranty, rust proofing, paint protection are a few add-ons that can be avoided.
- You need to determine the affordability also, whether you want to purchase a diesel or petrol or gas driven cars.
There are many online car compare sites which you use and search cars matching your requirement. Once you know which all cars are within your budget and meeting the other needs too, you can read experts and users reviews about those cars on various internet sites and get an idea about the overall performance.
Explore and Compare dealerships: The market is full of car dealerships offering various brands under one roof so when it comes to choosing a dealer, there are few points to consider like what is the final invoice cost of the car offered by the dealer, what are the delivery options, what discounts or sales they have, after sales service, what loan options and schemes they have. You also should ask for the complimentary products they will offer after the purchase like paint protection, an extended warranty, prepaid maintenance plan etc. Different dealers have different prices based on their location and other dealers are aware of this fact, so you can use this point in your favour and bargain. Stick to your guns and ask for a discount politely.
Take Test drive: Before buying a car, taking test test drive is as important as trying clothes before buying. You need to know if its suits your requirement or not. If you plan to fit a child seat in your car, bring it during your test drive and practice. It is the best chance to observe how comfortable the seats are, how relaxing the driver seat is, boot space, suspension, will it fit into your parking area or not, how smooth and quiet the car is, how much is the leg space, easy to use controls are there or not, performance on various roads, what are the safety features, consumption cost, mileage, view from the mirrors is clear etc. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions or use any features during the drive. You are going to spend a lot of money on this purchase, so being sure is important.
Financing: Once you finalize a car in you mind, check about the loan with the car dealers and your bank. Most of the times, the dealer’s rate are much higher than that of the banks but there is no harm checking with them and you never know you get a better deal, hassle-free, at one place only. It’s always advisable to take a loan for a shorter period – 40 months or so.
To calculate your car loan, here is a link that will help you:
Close the deal and take delivery: Take a final look of the car for any dents, scratches that might have occured during the transport and after proper demonstration, if you feel the car, dealership, rates, loan, insurance all are in place and look OK, it’s time to pay and take the delivery. You can do the paperwork and take the delivery at their outlet and drive your four wheeler home else you can request the dealer to deliver it at your place. You can ask the salesman about any features like pairing bluetooth with your phone or switching on headlights, fog lights or any other safety feature etc.
Last and the most important step: Enjoy your long drives!!!