Heading into a car dealer can be like a kid walking into a candy store, everywhere you look there’s something new and exciting that you would look just perfect in. Buying a car can be one of the most joyous experiences of one’s life, but it’s important to be prepared.
You immediately want to get to that moment when you drive your new vehicle off the lot with a sense of wonder at all the places you will go.
But don’t forget to do the proper preparation beforehand. You want to walk into the dealership with the kind of confidence that can only be achieved by the truly informed. That way when you walk out, it’ll be with the grin of someone assured in their purchase and excited for the road ahead.
Do your homework
Have some idea of what kind of car you want and how much it should cost. Kelley Blue Book is the ultimate guide for telling you what is good and bad value for a new or used car based on its make, model, miles, and condition.
If you know exactly what car you’re looking for, Kelley Blue Book will help you arrive at the car dealer with a price in mind that you know will be fair value. Even if you have no clue what you’re looking for yet, downloading their app gives you the power to look up any car on their database in minutes from your phone.
It’s also smart to inform your car insurance agency you’re looking at a new car and ask what that might do to your monthly bill. Most people don’t factor in how their insurance might change when deciding what their budget should be for a new car.
Lastly, if you have a car you’re considering trading in before getting this new one, make sure you know what its value is before setting foot anywhere near the car dealer. Many times a car dealer will lower the price of your new car by including the trade-in value of your old one.
Make sure the price they give you is a fair one. Kelley Blue Book is once again a godsend in this scenario as well. If they try to lowball you on your car’s value, make sure you can come back at them with what your car’s true value should be.
Another good idea would be to go to another dealership that buys used cars and have them write down what they will offer for your car. If you are in the Twin Falls area, Subaru of Twin Falls is a great option if you’re in the market for a Subaru and looking to trade in your older vehicle.
Few people walk into the car dealer with enough cash or capital in hand to buy a new car straight away. Most of the time you’re going to have to take out a loan on a new car and pay it off in installments. However, this method can lead to complications or unexpected fees if you don’t know what you’re doing.
The first step is to find out what your credit score is. If it’s low, you may want to research some ways to get it up a little higher if you don’t want to be hit with a high rate on your loan.
The next step is to shop around for an auto loan. In a lot of cases, the loan offered to you at the dealership will have a higher interest rate than the ones offered to you from an online auto lender, bank, or credit union.
Make sure you’ve looked around at who will give you the lowest interest rate and have them pre-approve you for a loan. That way you can walk into the car dealer knowing exactly how much of an interest rate they will need to offer to beat the loan you already have in your hand.
Even if you don’t plan on actually purchasing a car that day, it would be smart to come prepared like you will anyway. You never know what car you will fall in love with when you get there and although it’s a time-honored sales gimmick sometimes when the salesmen say, this car won’t stay unsold if you leave right now, they actually mean it.
So what do you need? Well for starters your driver’s license. If you drove there, this should hopefully already be in your wallet. Proof of insurance will also need to be shown before any paperwork is completed.
If you’re trading in your car, remember to bring your Certificate of Title. This will help ease the process of selling your vehicle to the car dealer. The dealership can also request a duplicate from the DMV but this can delay the actual sale of the vehicle for a couple days or even weeks. The DMV is the DMV after all.
Once you have a car in your sights, check its history using its VIN number. Even new cars might have something significant in their brief history that needs to be investigated. And used cars could have a litany of issues you will want to be aware of before you do anything else.
Find the Car Dealer for You
Now all that’s left is to find the right car dealer for you. Word of mouth is always a useful tool to rely on when it comes to finding a good dealership and looking up reviews online can be helpful as well.
There are plenty of business search engines on the web that will help match you up with your ideal car dealer. Look at online reviews and check out each dealer’s website to find out if they offer trade-in and auto loan services.
Now you should be ready to head into any car dealer with the confidence that will have you cruising out of the driveway in the hot rod of your dreams. Just make sure to come prepared and you’ll be on the road in no time.