Finding Your New Car - For DummiesPosted Apr 02 2019
So, you're at that point again. Time to buy a new car. Great. That means shifting through hundreds of makes and models with an equally large number of options right? Wrong! Fortunately for you, we at Fleming's have combined our not-so-limited brainpower to bring you the best possible guide to finding your new baby!
Step 1 - Finding Your Niche
- Take a long look at what you use your baby for. Is it just a point A to point B? Do you want every stoplight to feel like the few seconds before a NASCAR race? How about extra seats, will the kids (and their friends) need space? All of these questions form the primary basis of car hunting: start based off what need the vehicle will have to fill. Obviously a SUV fills a different niche than a convertible sports car.
Step 2 - Determining Your Budget
- Look, no matter what we say, your finances are your business and yours alone. However, there are multiple ways you can actually "purchase" a vehicle, which we will run through here.
- The obvious, direct purchase method: you've saved up the $$$ and now you're ready to flat out purchase your new vehicle. Congratulations! You're settled and ready to roll off the lot.
- Trade-In/Pre-sale: chances are, your current vehicle is still retaining a lot of value. By trading in or preemptively selling your vehicle, you can receive an influx of cash to apply to your car purchase and lower the total bill of sale! A tip from the wise who learned their lesson the hard way: regular vehicle maintenance and upkeep will help maintain a higher value over your vehicles life-span.
- Financing: Just like you did with your vehicle, determine a monetary need, and shop around! Most car dealers work with multiple financing firms in order to get their customers the best possible financing. One of the most common errors we encounter is that our customers don't know enough about financing! Often times they can perfectly finance a vehicle in their budget, yet they have no idea. In short, always talk to your dealerships accounting department to find out what financing options you can explore.
Step 3 - Going "Window Shopping"
- So, we've locked down a budget, and you have a general idea of what you want to buy. What now? Time to go look in person! Often times, doing a simple test drive can either totally validate or invalidate your previous opinion. Some cars can look amazing online or sitting freshly washed, but handle much differently than expected on the road. Many places, will allow you to test drive vehicles for free. Others, however, will allow you test drive a vehicle for a simple refundable deposit. When on your test drive, make sure to drive like you typically would any normal day. This will help you recognize potential blind spots, or any other discrepancies you may not have noticed when shopping online.
Step 4 - Time to Commit
- Alright! The test drive went great, you loved the car and you're ready to buy! Go ahead and let your sales staff walk you through the purchasing process, which can vary depending on your purchase method. One common mistake we encounter is that customers will sometimes cancel their previous vehicles insurance prior to insuring their new vehicle, which can incur charges in certain states.
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