Buying a Car? 6 Common Mistakes Made By First-Time Car Shoppers

Shopping for your first car can be exciting, but you don’t want to overlook the finer details. Inexperienced shoppers may be led into buying a car that doesn’t exactly match their tastes or budget. Knowing what mistakes to avoid will help ensure that you find the perfect means of transportation. Avoid the following major mistakes the next time you go car shopping:

1. Not Doing Your Homework Before Shopping

This widespread mistake can make it difficult to negotiate on the spot. When you do your research prior to car shopping, you’ll have the knowledge needed to get a suitable product at a fair price. Before you hit the car lot, have a general idea of what type you want (e.g. van, SUV, jeep, etc.) and which features you desire.

2. Failing to Have Approved Financing Set Up

There’s no point in shopping for vehicles if you don’t have the finances to purchase or lease one. Before you go car shopping, consider how you will pay for it. If you plan to pay in monthly installments, be sure that you have a stable job and will be eligible for financing from the dealership or from your own bank or credit union.

3. Being Closed to All Other Models But One

Even if you’ve fallen in love with a specific car model, don’t be closed off to alternative vehicles. If you haven’t done your research, you may find out that the make and model you adore doesn’t fit your lifestyle as well as other options might. Don’t make your selection based on looks alone. Assess your needs and leave emotions aside, when making a decision.

4. Cutting the Test Drive Short

Nearly everyone knows to take a test drive before purchasing a car; however, not everyone performs a thorough test drive. Driving down a few local city streets and making a couple of turns doesn’t give you a good grasp on how your vehicle will handle in all situations. It’s better to drive both in town and on a highway to get a comprehensive understanding of your new vehicle.

5. Only Visiting One Dealership

It may be convenient to only visit a dealership or two-usually the ones closest to your home-but this is not advisable. When spending such a large amount of money, you’ll want to take your time and shop around. Visit multiple dealerships and compare prices and services before making a decision.

6. Considering Payments Over Price

That truck may seem like a great deal at only $400 a month, but the monthly payment is not all that matters. While you’ll want to ensure that you make enough money to feel comfortable with the monthly payment, you’ll also want to consider the final price of the vehicle and how long you’ll be making payments.

No matter the type of car you choose, you’ll want to be sure you get the best deal for a vehicle that will serve you well for years to come. Avoiding these common mistakes can help you get a practical car at a fair price.