How to Buy a New Car: What You Need to Know

Have you considered buying a new vehicle soon?

There’s no time like the present, but when you want to purchase a car, you can often get intimidated by all the options. New cars are the best option due to their condition, but with all the specifications, they’re a minefield to explore!

So how do you go about buying a new vehicle? How does the entire buying process work?

Here’s how to buy a new car:

Always Look for a Reputed Car Dealer

When you decide to purchase a car, you must first do your research on the best car dealer in your area.

A great car dealer such as, for example, is reputed for their collection of brand-new Toyota models. You’ll also have a great customer service experience.

This latter feature is crucial. Often, dealing with car salespeople isn’t the most pleasant experience. You want to make sure you build a relationship with someone whom you’ll feel comfortable working with.

Once you’ve found your car dealer of choice, let’s look at how to actually choose a new vehicle.

Researching a New Vehicle

The first step is to look at rankings for new vehicles to see which are the most popular. Do you want the new Toyota Corolla or is a Prius better for you?

Create a shortlist of 5 to 10 new vehicles that are popular in a given year. Ideally, none of these models should be more than 2 years old. Once you’ve created your shortlist, you’ll do further research and narrow down your options.

You’ll only know if a car is worth your while after a test drive. To save time, you shouldn’t have to test drive more than 3 cars.

You also want to see what are the most important features for you. Do you want a car with an in-built GPS? Is it important to you to have a fast Wi-Fi connection in your new vehicle?

Make sure you consider these factors before you create your shortlist of potential cars.

Now let’s look at some of the preliminary steps before you purchase a car.

Applying for a Loan

If you can’t afford to pay for your car upfront, you can always apply for a car loan. However, receiving a loan for a new vehicle is often a challenge, and rejection rates are high.

You’ll have to first request a credit report. Obviously, you’ll want your credit report to be as high as possible. At a bare minimum, you want a credit score of at least 650. In some cases, you might need one of at least 800 to qualify for a loan.

A credit score is one of the basic requirements to receive a new car loan. If you have any debts, you want to pay off as much of them as possible. If you’re able to pay off your debt in its entirety, do so before you request a credit report.

In most cases, you’ll also have to make a down payment before you receive your loan. This down payment is usually up to 10% of the full loan payment. 

You’ll then have 12 to 36 months, on average, to pay off your loan. You might have to pay a small interest fee each month. The more payments you make, the lower your interest rate will be.

Paying late will result in penalty fees and the possibility of increased interest fees.

Testing the Cars

Once you’ve found the 3 cars you like the most, it’s time to take them for a spin!

When you drive each car, you want to assess how comfortable you feel behind the wheel. You might find the Corolla more appealing, for example. But if driving the Prius is an easier experience for you, then you should dismiss the Corolla altogether.

Make sure you also ask the car salesperson to do a test-drive with you. You should take one trip behind the wheel. You should take a second trip as a passenger while the car salesperson drives you.

This will give you a good idea of how the car feels for both the driver and the passenger. If you can bring your friends and family along, make sure you get them to assess their experience with the test drive.

You want to test out as many of the car’s features as you can. Test out cruise control, sports mode, emergency braking, etc. 

Your test drive session should be no less than 30 minutes. This will give you a better idea of whether the car is worth your investment.

What’s the Deal?

The final step is to analyze the deal that the car dealer is giving you. For example, how many months do you have to pay off your car?

If you opt for a loan you want it to be around the same length or longer than the car payment period.

You may also want to ask for possible discounts or sales that are coming up. Even new vehicles can come with discounts for both new and veteran customers.

You must also ask for the warranty policy for the new vehicle. You must never buy a car that has a warranty policy that lasts for less than 1 year.

This ensures that you can return the car for a new one or a full refund in case of any major issues that are out of your control.

If you’ve decided on the right car, then you want to reserve it before it runs out of stock. You’ll likely have a short limit as to how long it can remain reserved, so make sure you apply for your loan as soon as possible.

That’s How to Buy a New Car

Now you know how to buy a new car and find the perfect model of your dreams.

You have to start by finding a car dealer who has a great reputation. Once you’ve developed a relationship with them, you’re ready to start narrowing down your choices.

Use our criteria to whittle down your options to 3 cars. Test drive these cars to help you decide which car is best. Use our advice on how to qualify for a loan if needed.

You can find more content about cars and car culture on our website.

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