- Write down your needs
Deciding what car to buy all depends on what your family needs. For example, if you live in the mountains, you will probably want something with all wheel drive or four wheel drive and probably higher ground clearance, in order to fit the family and everybody’s stuff you’ll likely end up with an SUV or Subaru wagon. For families with pets, you need a durable interior. If you have babies, there will be safety factors to consider. Sit down together as a couple and talk about exactly what you need in a new car.
- Come up with a reasonable budget
Look at your finances carefully and come up with a reasonable budget. If you have the cash to buy it, you can probably get a cheaper price in the long run. For most people who can’t pay cash for a car, there are plenty of financing options to help just about anybody. You can ask at the dealership or do a quick internet search for private financing companies. You will need a sizeable down payment regardless, so plan for that.
- Decide if you want new or used
Now that you know what you need and how much you’re willing to spend, start researching what is available. Obviously you can get used cars cheaper, but then you run the risk of it already being faulty. Try to get the dealership to throw in a warranty package if you buy used. When you buy new, it should already include a warranty of sometype.
- Dress appropriately for the dealership
When you finally go to look at models, dress like you are serious. Where something nice from New York and Company, and plan for the weather. The more professional you look and present yourself, the more professional the sales team should treat you. Be polite but direct with them, and they will usually be very helpful.
- Be ready to negotiate
Unlike a lot of things we buy, the price on cars is negotiable. If you find the right car but it’s a little over your budget, the sales team will work with you. The key to negotiating a good deal is to have patience and respect. If you refuse to move on your end at all, they will be less likely to move on theirs. Negotiations go both ways, so be prepared to give a little in order to get what
you want in return.
- Try to be flexible
Sometimes our expectations are higher than reality. Don’t let luxury features stop you from getting the right car. If anything, be happy that you can save a little money. If you are willing to give up some of the finer features, the sales people will be able to help you more. If you can’t be flexible, order the exact car you want directly from the factory.
- Cover all bases
The initial price of the car is only a portion of the cost you need to consider. You also need to think about how much it will cost for insurance, gas, registration, etc. If you can’t work that into your budget, you may need to reconsider.