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How to Buy a Good Car? 10 Step Strategy

Updated on March 28, 2015
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Car Buying Overview

Buying a car is a major purchase and can be a daunting task, but to convert that daunting task to an easy task you should learn some essential car buying tips. Deciding on what you exactly want and what you are willing to pay ahead of time will save you more money and make you avoid a lot of hassle and common pitfalls. Follow the 10 step strategy to get a better car deal with the most appropriate price.

The 10 Step Strategy

The following steps will give you a good insight as to how to buy a good car:

  1. Check your budget: Setting a budget is the first crucial step. A budget will let you choose only the cars that you can afford, so stick to your budget and choose only the cars that you can afford.
  2. Choose the right time: At certain times of the year there will be a huge car inventory at car dealerships. At those times you can find competitive prices, more incentives and better deals. Best time could be the beginning of the year and from July to October. So it is much better to look for the most appropriate time when you buy a car.
  3. Research the prices: If you want to save as much money as you can when buying a car, research car prices. By now, you are limited to the cars that fall into your budget scale, try to research the prices of those cars by visiting online websites such as Edmunds.com, Kelly Blue Book and NADA to research the prices of those cars. The most important thing is collecting as many price quotes as you can so you can extract an average price for each car you are interested in. Bear in mind that cars have many different price, but the invoice price is the most important thing to know when starting the process of negotiation.
  4. Make two lists: New and used cars have advantages and disadvantages. For example, new cars are stocked with new features, but as soon as you buy it, there will be a depreciation in price as much as 11% to 15%. On the other hand, used cars are considered a field for best deals with good prices, according to their conditions, but they may cost you more if you finance them and may cost you much more for the maintenance. So consider making two lists each one contains the collection of cars you are interested in buying along with their respective average prices.
  5. Choose car requirements and model: Now that you have two lists and a collection of cars, try to organize each list in terms of requirements and model. For example, which aspects you need the most: Do you need a towing package with the car? Do you need a big car for your family? Do you want a fuel-efficient car?
  6. Consider payment options: Obviously there are two ways of paying, either you pay in cash or you finance the car. If you finance the car, you will pay a down payment, then you pay a monthly payment until you finish the total price of the car. If you afford to pay in cash that is great, but many people choose the financing option. If you are going to finance, try to make the down payment as high as you can. Some people choose a financial planner at dealerships, but it is not recommended because you can find better finance options with a good interest rate at banks, Credit Unions or online by visiting websites such as E-loan and Lending Tree.
  7. Consider insurance premiums and warranty: Insurance is a major factor in the overall price of the car. Bear in mind that if you buy a sport car or popular car, the insurance premiums will be higher than the conventional cars. Warranty is something that will guarantee maintenance for your car if something wrong was ever happened. Whether you buy new or used car, make sure that it has the manufacturer warranty, so you do not have to pay extra money for the extended warranty.
  8. Inspect and test drive the car: You must inspect and test drive the car before you buy it. If you are buying a used car, inspect the car by a trusted mechanic to disclose any potential problems the car may have. Furthermore, check the VIN and get the vehicle history report to detect any major problems the car may have to check whether it has salvaged, stolen or has been involved in an accident. When you test drive the car, take enough time on it and focus on the driving experience and whether it will suit you in the future or not. If you do not feel good, leave it and try another car. Do not be impulsive instead, be calm and focused and do not let the dealer or the salesperson sway you to another choice. You did your homework, and you must stick to it to get the best deal.
  9. Negotiate the price: Depending on your research and the two lists you have in hand, you can negotiate with confidence. Now you have price quotes and loan rates to help you with negotiation. If the car you are going to buy is new, make sure that you know the "invoice price" so you will be in a better position when you negotiate. On the other hand, if the car is used, make sure that you know the recent resale price for that car.
  10. Rethink before you sign: Finally, if you have made up your mind and picked a car to buy, rethink before you sign. Make sure you do not sign "as is" statement until you have thoroughly inspected the car and checked its performance and comfort level. Read the fine print carefully and do not sign until you know all the details in the contract. Do not let the dealer or the person who sells you any car make you sign quickly instead, take your time to read each clause in the contract better yet, take an attorney with you to finalize the paperwork for you.


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At Last

As you can see, if you want to get a better deal when buying new or used car, there are a lot of things that are taken into consideration. It is always best when you know what you want and what you are deciding to pay before you buy. So do your homework ahead of time to enjoy your favorite car.

Muhammed F Omran wrote this article about how to buy a car. Go to http://muhammedfomran.hubpages.com/ for the latest, strategic, to the point and actionable car buying tips.

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