5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Car
When the time comes to part ways with your current ride, there are several things to consider before buying something new. For starters, you can’t get behind the wheel of a new car if your financing isn’t in order. A bad credit score or history could put you at a serious disadvantage when seeking an auto loan. Not only that, the recent spike in new car costs is forcing a record number of shoppers to spend a lot more right from the get-go. There aren’t any deals waiting around the corner. In 2023, you need to have all your ducks in a row to make sure a car deal can happen and without a hitch.
From logistics to affordability, we’ll share the most common factors to think about before beginning your search for something new.
Choose a fit
Modern drivers have the luxury of options in 2023. Compared to 20 years ago, the car market is a diverse and ever evolving space that encourages individuality. From sedans to crossovers to electric pickups, it’s safe to say there is a car for everyone. Truthfully, you’d have to be pretty picky to not find something to love. Which is why one of the first things you should consider before buying is the type of car you’re looking for.
Do you need space for a family? Are you looking for good mileage? Do you want an electric or plug-in hybrid? Answering these kinds of questions right off the bat will help you narrow down your search so you can focus on the vehicles that best meet your needs.
Credit check (ahead of time)
The cost of car ownership is continually increasing, which means the price to finance a new vehicle is not always as straightforward as it may seem. With the average new car price reaching over $50,000, you’ll need some serious savings and negotiation skills to land a good deal. However, before you can actually finance your next ride, regardless of price, you’ll want to check your credit score. It’s free and easy to do and will make all the difference in knowing where you stand.
Evaluate your loan options
If your credit score is satisfactory or on the rebound, the next step involves deciding where you want to take out a loan. While many car shoppers typically finance directly with the dealership, it’s a good idea to check out other options too. You can visit your bank or local credit union to see what financing options they offer.
Determine your trade-in value ahead of time
You know the expression, “trust the experts”? Well, in terms of determining trade-in value, it’s best to do your own research. While the dealership will be inclined to make a deal, they won’t likely offer you top dollar for your vehicle. It’s often favorable to do a price comparison on your own time before you even sit down with a salesperson. Once you’ve gotten an idea of what your current vehicle is worth, you can use this information to negotiate a better price.
Alternatively, you may want to avoid haggling with the salesperson altogether, and instead, try to sell the vehicle yourself. In most cases, you’ll yield a greater return. The only real cons about this process is it requires more work on your end and a great deal of patience.
Establish a bottom line
One of the worst things we see car shoppers do each year is overspend on frivolous features that aren’t really worth their value. In other words, their eyes are bigger than their wallets. Unfortunately, upgrading to the higher-end trim or opting for performance packages when unnecessary is the easiest way to spend more than you had originally planned to. To avoid this, we suggest finding a bottom line before stepping foot into a dealership. If you can afford $350 a month, make sure you stay within that range.
Recap: things to consider when buying new or used
Overall, having a realistic view of your budget is the best method getting into something new in 2023. Because the cost of living as well as driving is pretty high right now, the planning process is crucial. Take the time to factor in your options and establish a safe yet effective budget for getting into a new vehicle.
Are you buying a new car this year? Tell us what things (safety, performance, interior upgrades, car tech) are most important to you and why.