Making the decision to invest in a new car can be both exciting and a bit stressful. If you visit your local car dealership without a plan in place, you may find yourself falling in love with a vehicle that isn't suited to meet your long-term needs.
To avoid heartache during the car buying process, here are three useful tips to keep in mind as you hunt for your next vehicle.
1. Know what you can spend before you visit the dealer.
Many consumers find it difficult to determine how much they want to spend on a vehicle. While you may be tempted to focus solely on monthly payment amounts, you need to pay careful attention to the interest and fees associated with any loan you might take out to pay for your new car as well.
You should ask the dealer to calculate the total amount of money you will repay when investing in a new car. This amount should be between 20% and 25% of your annual income to ensure that you aren't financially overextending yourself when it comes to the purchase of a new vehicle.
2. Calculate your ownership costs before selecting a vehicle.
It's important that you take the time to determine how much owning a vehicle will cost you over time before you make a purchase. Hidden expenses can add up quickly, turning what seems to be an affordable vehicle into a money pit.
Calculate your ownership costs by determining the vehicle's gas mileage, the amount of money it will cost you to ensure the vehicle, and the availability of replacement parts in the event repairs are needed. Knowing these ownership costs can help you make wise purchasing decisions as you try to decide between a handful of vehicles at your local dealership.
3. Secure your own financing before you visit a dealership.
Many dealerships offer in-house financing for customers looking to purchase a vehicle, but these in-house loans can carry higher interest rates than other money products.
You should take the time to speak with a representative at your bank or credit union to inquire about a vehicle loan before you visit the dealership. Securing your own financing before you shop ensures that you will enjoy the lowest interest rate possible over the life of your vehicle's loan.
Buying a car takes significant time and effort. Make sure you are prepared to invest in the right vehicle by knowing how much you can afford to spend, calculating the cost of ownership for each vehicle you are interested in, and securing your own financing before visiting a dealership like Robert Woodall Nissan.