A car can be a big purchase. Here are a few mistakes to avoid during the buying process to avoid you paying more than your need to.
Not putting down any money upfront
A lot of people buy cars on finance. This usually involves putting down a deposit – but there are an increasing number of lenders willing to give out loans without a deposit. While this can save you money upfront, it often means paying more in the long run. You may have to pay more per month and more interest overall. As a result, you’re much better off paying a large deposit (or indeed, saving up and buying a car outright).
Not taking a test drive
You should always take a car for a test drive before buying it. This is a chance to figure out whether you like the feel of the car. It’s also a chance to spot any faults. Most sellers will offer a test drive – you should be very wary of any sellers that don’t as they may be trying to hide something.
Not negotiating the price
Buying a car is one of the few situations in the western world in which it’s common to negotiate the price. You may only be able to deduct a small amount, but it’s still more than nothing. Be careful of going in too low – this could put off sellers. Many dealerships will be willing to lower the price if you show keen interest and then tell them you’ll think about it.
Not considering the running costs
Many people focus solely on the purchase price when buying a car. However, the running costs can be just as important to budget for. Car insurance is one of the biggest costs – smaller engine cars with less mileage tend to be cheaper to insure (although new cars can be expensive). Fuel is another big running cost – by considering the MPG of each car you look at, you can get a good idea of this cost. Repairs are also a big cost that you can reduce by focusing on newer cars with a lower mileage.
Not researching the vehicle/seller reputation
Research can go a long way when buying a car. One big factor to consider is reputation. Some models of vehicle may have a reputation for being unreliable, which could mean more costs. There could also be factors like safety to consider. As for the seller, always check online reviews of any dealer before buying from them to ensure that they’re not ripping off customers. Researching the seller’s reputation may not be possible when buying from an independent seller.