Simplifying Your Next Car Purchase

Posted by at 9 June 2022, at 08 : 58 AM

Simplifying Your Next Car Purchase

Looking to buy a car? This is a complex process that you need to get right the first time around. Here are some areas of focus that can help you to make a success of this purchase!

Know What You Want

The first step towards any car purchase is deciding what vehicle you want. The process of buying a car isn’t as simple as saying you want a car and getting one. Instead, this is a highly personalised purchase and you’ll need to ensure that you’re choosing a vehicle that meets your needs before spending anything on it. Cars don’t come cheap – for most of us they’re one of the biggest investments we make in our lives and they will serve as an asset going forward. They are also highly practical and functional, meaning we need to ensure that they do what we need them to for them to be useful for us. For example, if you have a family of five, there’s not much point getting a three door vehicle with no luggage space and only four seats. Consider elements such as cost, size, safety features, seat numbers, door numbers, fuel consumption and more to come to a conclusion of what vehicle you actually want to shop for.

Know Your Budget

As with any major purchase, you need to know your budget before shopping for a car. This will ensure that you’re only looking at options that you can genuinely afford. Because most people get cars on some sort of finance plan, they can easily be upsold into choosing something that they can’t actually comfortably afford. Instead, figure out your budget and make sure to stick to it. When creating your car budget, remember to include all costs associated with a car. This includes the price of the car itself, fuel, car insurance, tax, maintenance, cleaning, services, MOTs and more.

Do Your Research Beforehand

Once you’ve decided on the car you’d like to get, never make the mistake of simply walking into a dealership and seeing what’s on offer. Unless you’re extremely experienced in cars, their value and their sale (perhaps you were a car dealer yourself at some point), you’re not likely to come out of this situation with a good deal. Remember, dealers, at the end of the day, are sales people, and they’ll want to get as much money out of you as possible. If they are an employee at an official dealership, they’ll have targets to hit and will want to achieve bonuses or commission related to sales. If you are at a smaller or privately owned dealership, they’ll want to make as much profit as possible to maximise their own income. It’s in their own interest to get you to pay as much as possible. Instead, you need to make sure that you do plenty of thorough research to start with. This will give you the upper hand and will help you to strike a good deal. Knowing up to date information regarding pricing and demand can help you to strike at the right time.

Understand Negotiations

Now, many car dealerships will allow you to haggle and negotiate on a good deal with them. This is particularly true if you’re not buying straight from the manufacturer through an own brand dealership. However, it’s important that you thoroughly understand the etiquette and logic of negotiations before trying to negotiate yourself. There are certain deals you’re likely to get the thumbs up from and others that will be laughed off. Make sure to do your research to understand the lowest price on the market of the car that you want. Many dealers will be happy to price match in order to secure your custom over a competitor. If you want to go lower than the lowest price on the market, you’re going to have to be a pro in haggling. You’ll need to make sure that you understand how much profit the dealer is making on the vehicle and whether they are likely to say yes to your offer or not. Someone with a large profit margin is much more likely to shake hands on a lower price than someone who’s barely making anything on the car in the first place. Negotiations also tend to be easier with private sellers, as they are often trying to get the vehicle off their hands for a reason and may have a time limit as to when they need to get rid of the vehicle by – perhaps they’re moving home, need the money quickly or simply don’t have anywhere to store the vehicle themselves anymore. Of course, negotiation skills take years of commitment, experience and confidence. So, you may want to let someone else do this on your behalf. This is where services like myhopscotch can come in useful.

Have Your Form of Payment Prepared

You can pay for cars in a whole manner of different ways. Some people choose to buy a car outright with savings. Some will take out a loan to pay the full sum up front and chip away at the balance over a series of months or years. Some will do something similar with an interest free credit card. Then there are car finance agreements offered by dealerships and third parties, where you have to read the fine print to see what you’re paying for and whether you get to keep the car at the end. Another option is leasing, where you pay for use of the car, but don’t ultimately own it. It’s essential that you know how you’re planning on paying for your car before going ahead and hitting the dealership. Some forms of payment require preplanning, application and approval, such as loans and interest free credit cards. Some can be organised in the dealership itself. Do your research and determine what best meets your needs and, ultimately, what will be lowest cost. This will allow you to purchase your car when you’re ready, rather than having to put things off while you figure out the finances.

Hopefully, the information above will help you to simplify your next car purchase!

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