As automotive enthusiasts, general car knowledge as well as a basic understanding of vehicle operations and our own desires, are things we take for granted when shopping for the next thrill. Questions that we are asking ourselves as well as the dealership may not come naturally to those who aren’t as nutty about cars as others. However, that makes asking the right questions that much more important, so we have provided a guide to some of the basics you should be considering before thinking about that next car or truck.
1) First and foremost, you should be thinking about the purpose this new vehicle will be serving. Is it going to be the daily driver? Will it see some long road trips with the family or be more of a fun weekend toy? Think hard about what this vehicle will be doing, a more thoughtful buyer is more likely to be happy with their decision for a longer period of time.
2) Know ahead of time what your rough budget is, and be sure to include insurance, gas, maintenance etc.. This will save you a lot of time and keep you from falling in love with vehicles that are out of your price range, making it seem like you are compromising by getting something that is actually within your budget.
3) Know whether you prefer new or used, but don’t be close-minded about saving some money by going with a used vehicle. Often people automatically write-off a used vehicle because the allure of that new car smell is too strong. However, there are used vehicles out there that will outlast even the newest, freshest smelling car, you just have to know which to look for. Additionally, warranties are often still in effect for the lower mileage used cars.
4) Which leads to: do your research! There are so many sites out there to make sure buyers are informed (KBB.com, truecar.com just to name a few) so there is no reason you can’t have a sense of what you should pay for your new or used vehicle. If you really want to dig deep, try looking for forums dedicated to your specific brand as there are often dedicated owners that post common problems, easy fixes, and what to look for when you buy that car. These are often harder to find but can be the most helpful, examples are www.nasioc.com for Subarus and www.ih8mud.com for Toyota trucks. While these forums are not always endorsed or supported by the manufacturer, there is wealth of knowledge to be found if you have the time and dedication to dig around a bit.
5)If you plan on servicing the vehicle at the dealership, it doesn’t hurt to work with them to establish a relationship with them. These are, after-all, the people who will be working on your vehicle, and sometimes working with a local dealership vs. taking your business out of town can mean the difference between getting a loaner car and hitching a ride in the back seat of a friend’s car every time you need some work done.
These are just some of the basic tips and questions that will help improve the overall buying experience. Make sure you spend time to really think about what you want and do your research. Be an informed buyer and understand what you are getting yourself into because buying a car should not be taken lightly. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask us and we’ll get back to you promptly.