Car shopping’s an exciting prospect. Indeed, the exhilaration involved is a key reason why more than 17 million cars are sold every year in the US! Finally, after months of saving up, you can ditch the old wheels and get your hands on a brand new shiny ride.
But it can be daunting too!
There are endless decisions to make, options to sift through, and unscrupulous sellers to avoid. Then, on top of all that, there’s the perennial possibility of making expensive car shopping mistakes along the way…
Want some pro tips to help you steer clear of this particular fate and enjoy a smoother process from start to finish? You’re in the right place. Check out these 6 common errors people make when purchasing cars (and tips on how to avoid them)!
1. Choosing the Wrong Seller
The first thing to know is that not all dealers or private sellers are made equal! As we said in the introduction, there are plenty of dishonest and downright dodgy people/businesses in the world! These guys and girls will rip you off without thinking twice about it.
The result? You have to do your due diligence when deciding who to buy from! A few effective options for finding a reliable, reputable seller include:
- Seeking referrals from friends and family,
- Reading online reviews of local car dealerships,
- Swapping messages with the seller, and
- Checking the Better Business Bureau.
Take any of these approaches and it shouldn’t be long before you come across someone, like the team over at http://gatesauto.com/, you can trust.
2. Forgetting to Check the Vehicle History
Are you shopping for a second-hand vehicle rather than something straight off the factory line? Well, it can pay serious dividends to recognize that these cars, like people, have a history!
Some may have been in past accidents, others might have been recalled, and a few could have gone years without routine maintenance work.
Alas, you can’t always rely on used car dealerships or private sellers to reveal this kind of information! That’s why it’s so important to acquire the official vehicle history report for any cars you’re thinking about buying. This document will reveal everything you need to know and prevent you from purchasing a lemon in the process.
3. Doing No Prior Research
Failing to plan is like planning to fail, right? In other words, the more preparation you put into something, the better you can expect the outcome to be.
…And that definitely applies to car shopping.
Trust us, you can never expect to find the best deal without doing research beforehand. Start checking online listings, comparing car prices, messaging sellers for further details, and flicking through automobile magazines to read reviews about different cars of interest. These steps (and others like it!) will shed light on your options and help you turn up at the showroom knowing exactly what types of cars you want and why you want them!
4. Forgoing the Mechanical Inspection
Know cars and engines like the back of your hand? Feel free to move onto the next point! For everyone else, this one’s crucial…
Get a mechanical inspection before you sign any dotted lines or hand over your hard-earned cash! It’s the most effective way to avoid nasty surprises.
The mechanic will check everything over from top to bottom, including the engine, A/C, lights, and so on. They’ll uncover any hidden defects in the process, suggest a fair price, and/or simply give you the green light to proceed.
We know, it’s an expensive hassle to arrange!
But it could save you far more in the future if they spot a serious issue that you would have missed. On a similar note, be wary of sellers who are reluctant to let a mechanic check over the car in question. It’s a major red flag that they’re hiding something.
5. Doing Short, Basic Test Drives
It’s hard to overstate the importance of test-driving cars! This is your chance to “try before you buy”. You can get behind the wheel, take it for a spin, and see what it’s like to drive.
Unfortunately, many buyers fail to take full advantage of the opportunity.
They drive around the block, never get beyond second gear, and forget to pay attention to how the vehicle feels and sounds! Heck, some people even refuse to do a test drive altogether. Needless to say, we suggest taking the opposite route…
Go on a long and thorough drive to uncover as much as possible about the car. See how it handles, assess how comfortable it feels, and listen out for any signs of trouble. Only then can you determine whether or not it’s the right vehicle for you.
6. Failing to Negotiate
One of the most common car shopping mistakes people make is to accept the initial price tag! Whether it’s through ignorance, shame, or fear, they fail to negotiate with the seller and lose out on potential savings as a result.
Don’t be that person! There’s almost always wiggle-room when it comes to cost- especially for used vehicles. Bargain hard enough and you could pay hundreds of dollars less than the asking price.
It won’t always be possible; nor will it always yield significant savings. But the only way to find out is to ask! To improve your chances of success, you could even teach yourself some basic negotiating tactics before you attend the viewing.
Avoid These Common Car Shopping Mistakes!
Millions of Americans swap their old vehicle in favor of a new one every year. And for good reason! Few things in life are as gratifying as parking a brand new set of wheels on your driveway.
Alas, many unsuspecting buyers make expensive car shopping mistakes along the way. That’s why we wrote this article! We hope the insights in it will help you get your hands on a new ride without experiencing any trouble.
Hungry for further expert information on buying cars? Search ‘buying’ on the website now and sink your teeth into masses of related blog content.