Buying a new car isn’t as easy as it may seem. It can quite be like introducing a new baby into your home. It’s been said, about 60 million cars were made and new models are manufactured every year. You, therefore, have to do your due diligence to ensure you get the best car for your needs and budget.
If you’re unsure about how to go about buying your new car in 2021, here are some things you need to know before you seal that deal.
- Have A Budget And Stick to It
Before you buy your new car, there’re some essentials you can’t afford to ignore, and budgeting is one of them. You have to understand that budgeting isn’t only about setting a buying price. For a good budget, you need to consider the total cost of ownership for your car.
The total cost of ownership in your budget should include the following:
- purchase price
- initial down payment
- possible loan and installments
- monthly running costs
- cost of insurance
If you decide to take a loan, you have to work out how much down payment you’d be prepared to pay. In simple terms, once you identify the car you want, work out the total cost of the car, including all other terms and conditions, then see if you can afford to run the car. After all, there’s life after buying a new car.
- Search Wisely
There’re millions of car options on the market, so if you’re not careful, you may find yourself confused and wondering where to begin. Your budget and your needs may be a great starting point.
If your preferences fall within your budget, it’ll help narrow down your search. For instance, if you’re looking for an SUV, you simply focus on the market offerings that fall within your budget.
An easy way to search would be to start by limiting your search to your preferred body type. Next, you could further narrow down the search by choosing the general engine capacity and fuel type. When you’ve identified these, you should now be able to pick the models that catch your fancy easily.
New cars can generally be purchased from car dealerships or online platforms. Whichever dealership you choose to buy from, don’t forget to do your bit by knowing exactly what you want. For an example of a typical car dealership, check out this site.
- Think About The Extras
Cars come with optional extras. So apart from the purchase price, you have to decide which options you’re willing to pay for. The cost of the extras you choose can seem insignificant when you consider them individually per month. But if you multiply that by the number of payments you have to make, it can be quite substantial.
Extras include things like the sunroof, navigation systems, mag wheels, leather seats, and so forth. They’re optional, so you have to include the ones you need in your budget. Otherwise, you may end up paying a substantial amount of money for things you hardly use.
- Safety Features Are Important
Never underestimate the importance of the safety features enhanced in most car models in 2021. It may be worth investing in features like assist systems, blind-spot monitoring, rear, and front alerts, lane-departure warnings, ABS systems, and other assist systems. These may seem fancy and unnecessary, but they could save you and your family’s lives.
Car manufacturers are increasingly making most of these advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) standards for their vehicles in 2021. Discuss these with your dealer before you sign the cheque.
- Pay Attention To Interest Rates
Did you know that interest rates can be higher for cheaper cars than bigger and more expensive ones? If you blindly focus on monthly loan payments, you could overlook the total cost of interest. Normally, the higher the rate, the more the interest, but some manufacturers may not be keen on giving good interest rates on cheaper models.
You, therefore, have to compare different payment options and interest rates before making any decisions.
- Test Drive Is Essential
Most buyers test drive cars before making a purchase; don’t be among the few that don’t. A good test drive gives you a sense of the car’s handling, comfort, and ride. You could also make up your mind about the extras you may need.
Remember the basics of test driving a car:
- Try out different road surfaces and terrains
- Check the legroom
- Check out the cargo space
- Assess whether the controls are accessible
- Bring the spouse and kids if you need to; their options could be valuable.
Test driving a new car will be the surest way to know if you like the car you’ve chosen. No amount of online research will beat an actual test drive.
- Negotiate A Good Deal
Most of the new vehicles have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), but you should know that it’s negotiable. When you try to negotiate, some dealers will attempt to shift your focus to the monthly payments. Don’t fall for this trick; stick to the overall cost of the vehicle, including taxes. This will help you decide based on your budget.
If you’ve done your research about the vehicle you want, you should have an idea of the total amount you can afford. If you know your stuff, negotiation shouldn’t be difficult. Here’re some tips to help you strike a good deal:
- Make sure your opening offer is slightly less than the MSRP.
- Show the dealer that you’ve done your homework.
- If you agree on a price that’s within your budget, then you’re good to go.
- The buyer always has the upper hand. Use it to your advantage.
- Walk in the dealership with confidence.
- Don’t be scared to walk away from a bad deal.
- You Don’t Need Extended Warranty
New cars normally come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Therefore, you don’t need to get it from the dealership. In any case, most dealership warranties will be quite expensive. Also, remember to do some research about the cost of insurance on your chosen vehicle.
After your house, buying a new car could be the second most expensive and demanding deal you have to make. Hopefully, these tips have shed light on how you could make it easier. Good luck with your new purchase.