Buying a new car can be an exciting adventure filled with options, numbers, and tough decisions. So, whether it’s your first vehicle, or your first major vehicle purchase in awhile, the Good Hands Advice Team has prepared its tips for buying a new car.
Tips and Advice for Buying a New Car
Do Your Research
Getting opinions from people you know is a great way to learn more about cars and their make and model. People always have views on cars, so don’t be shy to seek advice. Researching the right dealer is just as important as researching the right car, so it’s key to find a reliable one who can help guide you to an informed decision.
Learn the Potential Cost of the Insurance
If you’re in the market for a new car, utilize the free quote feature offered by many insurance companies to compare the premiums of the different models you’re considering. Additionally, speaking with an insurance agent directly can help you get a better understanding of the costs associated with your policy. Be sure to check out Allstate’s auto insurance discounts, as well as any safety features the car may have.
Decide Whether You’re Looking to Lease or Finance Your Vehicle
One of the most crucial decisions you’ll need to make when buying a new car is how you plan on paying for it. There are a few options here. While some people recommend buying a new vehicle outright to avoid taking out a car loan, it’s understandable that many people won’t be able to afford the full amount upfront.
In that case, you can choose to lease (a.k.a. rent) your vehicle. This means that you will make monthly payments for a set loan term (often 24, 36, or 48 months).
Alternatively, you can choose to finance your vehicle for a set loan term, where you will ultimately own the vehicle once the set term has expired.
Leasing is typically more affordable than financing, but you will have to pay a percentage of the car’s value at the end of the term in order to own it. So, it really does depend on whether you see yourself hanging onto the car for just three or four years or whether you are looking at a new vehicle as a longer-term purchase.
Compare Prices Online
As you narrow down your list of choices for car models, make sure to compare prices online to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. Considering that the base price, or manufacturer’s suggested retail price (“MSRP”), typically excludes many accessories or options like paint colour, lights, sunroof, heated seats and upholstery material, you’ll want to see which dealers are offering competitive packages that include options on your wish list.
Don’t be afraid to call ahead to see if there are any inventory sales on the horizon or if there might be any special deals available to you. Often, there are programs for seniors, students and repeat buyers.
Do a Road Test
While reviews, research and price comparisons will help you separate fact from fiction, none of it really matters if you don’t like getting behind the wheel on your first test drive. Dealers will typically let you take out any model on their lot, but feel free to inquire if they have your short-listed vehicles in stock. Make sure to take along a pen and pad to take down your notes after a drive, and to list any questions you may have for sales staff. Be sure to ask about included and extra warranties, delivery fees and wear-and-tear coverage. We recommend the latter for those opting to lease a vehicle. This helps to avoid a bill for any minor scratches or dents at the end of your term. A trip to the dealership can also be a great opportunity to negotiate on price, or have some options thrown in at no additional cost.
Take your Time When Making the Final Decision
The last thing to keep in mind is that, like any other large purchase decision, make sure to take your time and make a decision when you are free from pressure.
Before signing the contract, confirm that the car’s VIN number matches what has been said about it through the Insurance Bureau of Canada. If the price seems too good to be true, it is likely a warning sign. Do not be pressured into making an immediate decision on the lot, take your time and make sure that the car is really what you want before committing. This way, you will be sure that you are driving away in the car of your dreams.
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