Don’t be too much out of pocket when buying your next car. After dealing with the initial expense, you don’t want to then discover you have made a costly mistake that negatively affects your finances further. Consider the following then, and make every effort to NOT fall into the trap of these car buying blunders.
Mistake #1: Buying from a dodgy dealer
Especially when buying a used car, you need to do your research before purchasing a motor. Check for reviews online, speak to people you know for dealership recommendations, and when visiting dealer websites, look for certain credentials, such as the certified Dealer Promise highlighted at Century Cars. You are far less likely to get ripped off when buying a car if you find a respectable dealer, so take the time to look for one, instead of rushing into a purchase from any dealer that appears to offer you a good deal. You might only end up with a money pit of a car if you don’t take care.
Mistake #2: Opting for lower monthly payments
On the one hand, opting for a lower monthly payment makes sense when buying a car on finance. After all, you don’t want to have yet another outgoing payment from your bank account that drives down your finances. However, as a general rule, you will often end up paying more on the car, as the lower your monthly payment, the higher the interest that is accrued over time. It might make more sense to pay more each month, as you will a) pay off the car sooner, and b) have less interest to worry about. A car loan calculator will give you an idea of the costs you can expect to pay over different periods of time.
Mistake #3: Not haggling with the seller
As we suggested in this article, you should always bargain hard with the seller. If you can get a better offer on the car you are interested in, the more money you will save. So, never accept the price tag on the motor, as most sellers will add a few hundred pounds in the knowledge that a buyer is likely to haggle for a cheaper price. Always research the make and model of the car you are interested in, as this will give you greater bargaining power when talking about prices. And if you don’t have the confidence to haggle on your own, bring along a friend who has more experience in dealing with car salespeople than you do. You might then save money instead of paying over the odds on the car.
Mistake #4: Foregoing essential car checks
Is the car you are buying safe to drive? You will never know if you don’t carry out essential car checks first, so hire a car mechanic to check under and around the bonnet, and take the car for a test drive, paying special attention to the advice given at Haynes on what to look for when you’re driving. Hopefully, the car will pass muster and be safe to drive, but if you are in any doubt, it’s better to walk away from the car instead of buying something that might only cost you more in repairs and maintenance fees down the line.
Cars are expensive enough without the added burn in your pocket because you have made a costly mistake. Follow our advice then, and if you have any further tidbits of advice to give to our readers, please share with us by leaving a comment below.