Buying a car can be fun, but it can be a nightmare too. From trying to figure out your budget to test driving new cars and dealing with the dealership, you may be tempted to put off this important purchase and just stay at home instead—don’t!
You can make sure your car buying experience is more enjoyable, and you can make sure you purchase a car you will be able to drive for many years to come when you are prepared with these tips.
There are more safety features available than ever before if you’re shopping for a new car. Some features, like backup cameras, have been around for a while, but there are new features being added to vehicles every year. A few you may want to look for include:
- Pedestrian detection alert
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane departure alert
- Inter vehicle communication
Your job is a little different if you’re shopping for a used vehicle. You may not have as many choices when it comes to safety features, but the safety features that the car does have should be fully functional.
For example, airbags have saved the lives of over 50,000 people in the last few decades. It’s important to make sure the vehicle you purchase is fully inspected, which includes an inspection of the airbags and other safety features, so you don’t find yourself unprotected in the event of an accident.
History of the Vehicle
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices and you have an idea of what car you want to buy, you should request a vehicle history report.
Getting a vehicle history report is extremely important if you’re purchasing a used vehicle because it tells you about the car’s past. It can tell you how many owners it has had, whether or not it has been in any accidents, or if there are any recalls on certain features or the vehicle itself.
Don’t automatically discount a vehicle because it may have been in an accident or a certain feature has been recalled. Instead, this information should encourage you to negotiate with the dealership for a lower price or a free repair before you drive the vehicle off the lot.
Mileage and Age
It’s always important to consider mileage and age, but which one matters more?
Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer. If you find a car that has 100,000 miles on its odometer and it has been well taken care of by its previous owner, it may be that the vehicle will easily chug along for another 200,000 miles. On the other hand, if you can find a vehicle with very little miles, you may not have to worry about a major repair for at least a little while.
Instead, you should make sure you do your research. Does the model you’re interested in have a history of expensive repairs? Did the vehicle report uncover any previous accidents? These things must be considered alongside mileage and age in order to find a quality vehicle.
Before you buy that car, you should also research the manufacturer of the vehicle you’re interested in. Some manufacturers have a better reputation than others.
For example, Toyotas and Subarus are often recommended by Consumer Reports. Vehicles with high ratings sometimes cost a little more, but they are generally safer and drivers experience fewer problems than the owners of other vehicles. They are a better long-term investment than other vehicles that are costly to repair or have a low resale value.
The Dealership You’re Buying From
Not only do you have to consider the vehicle manufacturer, but you should also consider the dealership you’re buying from. When you choose your dealership wisely, you’ll enjoy a better buying experience, but it goes well beyond the experience you have while shopping for a car.
Good dealerships are transparent, and they’re on your side. They are happy to tell you about the car’s history, and they aren’t looking to charge you more than the car is worth.
Many dealerships also offer other services, like inspections and oil changes, as well as throwing in free upgrades for purchasing a vehicle.
It’s important to look at a car’s appearance inside and out, but it definitely isn’t just about how your vehicle looks. There are many other things to consider! When you do, you can make sure you enjoy the shopping experience, and you can make sure you’re able to drive your car for a long time.
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