8 Common Car Buyer Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Common Car Buyer Mistakes

Did you know that there are an estimated 17 million automobile sales in the United States of America each year? Millions of Americans are buying cars with each passing year, but a staggering number of them don’t do their due diligence. When you’re looking at spending tens of thousands of dollars on different types of cars you owe it to yourself to do your own research.

Little things like test-driving cars and reading online reviews will help you avoid common car buyer mistakes. The good news is that you’re in the right place to learn about eight mistakes that many shoppers make, as well as a car shopping strategy that you can use to get the right car for your needs.

Keep reading this article to learn what you need to know before visiting your local car dealership!

1. Not Doing Enough Research

You need to do plenty of research about a car prior to buying it in order to know if it will be a reliable vehicle that will last you a long time. You’ll find that there are tons of car options out there, especially when you start looking at new vs. used cars. Take a look at your needs and find something that fits them.

Small SUVs and crossovers allow you to haul more luggage or cargo with you while still getting great gas mileage. Jeeps are great for utility as well as some fun off of the paved roads. Trucks are great for hauling large amounts of cargo and handling laborious tasks.

2. Falling in Love

It’s a horrible idea to fall in love with a particular car or model when you start shopping for different types of cars on the market. Odds are that the salespeople at the local car dealership in your area will realize that your heart is set on a particular model of vehicle. It also prevents you from exploring other options that will cost less and fit your situation better.

3. Not Test Driving Cars

A failure to test drive cars that you’re interested in is one of the worst common car buyer mistakes that you can make. You might like the look or the sound of a vehicle, but you won’t know how it handles or how comfortable it is to drive until after you’ve taken it for an extended spin around the block.

Ask the car dealership to allow you to take the car for a drive on some different types of roads. That will allow you to become familiar with it and find the best option for your needs and wants. It’s also a great chance for you to ask the salesperson about ford extended warranty prices.

4. Negotiating From the Sticker Price

Trying to negotiate based on the advertised sticker price is a big mistake that will set you back thousands of dollars. Cars aren’t like clothes, where the price is the price and you can’t buy without paying what is on the price tag. You’ll overpay if you use the MSRP as your guideline for price negotiations.

Try to negotiate based on the dealer invoice price. A great car shopping strategy is to get a free price quote online from the dealership to find out what they’re listing it at and then proceed from there.

5. Focusing On Monthly Payment

The monthly payment is prominent in the minds of many car buyers when they visit the dealership, but you need to focus on more than that. The length of your loan will increase the amount of money that you’re paying for the car drastically if you’re not careful, especially considering rising interest rates.

6. Buying the Extras

You need to visit your local car dealership anticipating that the sales and finance people will try to sell you some extras that they insist are essential but that you don’t actually need. Turn away any offers for rustproofing your vehicle as well as any offers for paint protection. 

These extras are total profits for the car dealership and the odds are that you’ll never need them. It’s natural to want to protect your new investment, but there are other ways that you can do that without spending more money at the dealership. You’ll find a better price for paint protection with aftermarket options.

7. Not Getting Used Cars Inspected

You need to make sure that you’re getting the car inspected if you plan on purchasing a used car rather than a new one. You don’t know what that vehicle has been through or how it has been maintained over the years, but a trustworthy mechanic will have no issues identifying problems.

You can avoid some bad situations and investments by taking this simple step of getting the car looked at prior to making a purchase. Most used cars are sold on an “as-is” basis, meaning that any issues that the vehicle has are your issues as soon as you drive off of the lot. Always get a used car that you like inspected prior to making the purchase.

8. Know Your Trade-In Value

Knowing the trade-in value of your old car will also help you with negotiating the purchase of a new one. Trading in your car has a ton of benefits since it allows you to avoid the hassle of selling your car on the open market and dealing with all of the paperwork. That said, you need to make sure that you’re getting fair value for the car that you’re trading in when you visit your local car dealership.

Avoid These Common Car Buyer Mistakes Today

If you care about making the most of your hard earned money then it’s a good idea to come up with a car shopping strategy and avoid the common car buyer mistakes. Always get a used car inspected prior to making a purchase, and take the car that you want for an extended test drive. Most of all, don’t use the MSRP as the baseline for your price negotiations.

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