Buying a car is an exciting process. You might already be thinking about what kinds of seats you’d like or the horsepower you want. However, as you get ready to make your purchase, it’s important to avoid making crucial errors. Keep these top five car buying mistakes in mind while you shop for your new ride.
Mistake #1: Buying the First Car You See
If you’re a busy person, it may be tempting to buy the first vehicle that meets your minimum requirements. Before you finance a car, however, it’s worth doing some comparison shopping to see if you’re getting a good deal. Take the time now so you can save time and money down the road. Websites such as Kelly Blue Book, NADA, and Edmunds can help you research and compare vehicles so you can narrow down the car options that may be right for you.
Mistake #2: Skipping the Test Drive
Maybe you have a lot of driving experience, and you’re certain that you know how the make and model of a car will drive. Even if you’re sure that you’ve found the car of your dreams, it’s always important to test drive the vehicle. What if the car has some major blind spots or the seats droop too low or the car jerks too much when starting and stopping? You never know what issues might come up once you’re actually behind the wheel, and it’s always better to experience the ride before you’ve made your purchase.
Mistake #3: Buying a Car That Needs Work
If you buy a car that already needs work, you could end up getting yourself into a sticky financial situation. While you may be getting the car at a lower price, any small issues can increase the likelihood of major repairs down the road. It’s better to err on the side of caution, and make sure you’re buying a reliable car that hasn’t already experienced its fair share of damage. If you think the car could have any potential problems, it may also be a good idea to protect your investment by getting or extending a warranty.
Mistake #4: Ignoring the Vehicle History
You might not immediately recognize a car that’s had issues or been in an accident. It’s therefore important to check the vehicle history report. These records contain critical information about service, recalls, repairs and collisions. Those who skip this step could miss out on some important safety information that may prevent headaches in the long run. It’s always helpful to check the full vehicle history report with Carfax before buying any car, so you can know exactly what you’re getting.
Mistake #5: Buying More Than You Can Afford
The price of the car is not the only cost associated with driving. When you are financing your car, remember that you have to pay for car insurance, gas mileage, routine maintenance, repairs and vehicle registration. If you forget to consider these other costs, you may end up with a car that’s out of your budget.