10 Common Vehicle Shopping Errors and How to Avoid Them

Do you plan on becoming one of the 17 million Americans who buy a new car this year?

If so, you’re probably excited about upgrading to a new set of wheels. While having a new car is always great, the process of finding your perfect match can be quite daunting. Cars are expensive, which means you don’t want to get stuck with something you’ll end up regretting.

So what can you do to ensure your efforts pay off? Keep reading to learn about the top 10 vehicle shopping errors so you’ll know what to avoid.

  1. Not Looking at Both Used and New Cars

Lots of people get fixated on buying a new car because they want something that will last them many years. The truth is that used cars can have a long lifespan if the previous owners maintained them well. In addition, new cars depreciate at a rapid pace the second you drive them off the lot, so you can get more bang for your buck when you shop used.

While you shouldn’t be stuck on either side of the spectrum, it’s okay to have preferences as long as you explore all your options to find the best deal.

  1. Being Closed Off to Different Types of Vehicles

When it comes to aesthetics, everyone has their own dream car that they’d love to see themselves inside. Since there are tons of makes and models on the market nowadays, you should never close yourself off. While you may think that one kind of car is right for you, there are bound to be dozens of similar types that could offer even more benefits for your unique needs.

  1. Only Visiting One Local Car Dealership

All dealerships set their own prices, which is why it’s worth taking your time to browse. Many people have also had great success shopping for cars online since they’re able to view an entire inventory with a few clicks and scrolls from the comfort of their homes. As you find some potential cars, you can ask about the prices and don’t feel shy about haggling.

  1. Not Comparing Vehicle Prices

Cost can have a huge impact on someone’s final decision, so it can be helpful to set a budget that you feel comfortable paying first. Having a maximum amount can also save you lots of time because dealers will only show you vehicles that fit within your price range. As you check out the different cars, you can weigh the pros and cons to get a good feel for values and whether or not your top picks are worth it.

  1. Trying to Rush the Process

We live in a fast-paced world, so it’s understandable that you might not want to take weeks shopping for a new car. However, research is an essential step that can reduce your risk of getting scammed or buying a car that you’ll end up resenting over time. Slowing down is especially important for new drivers who haven’t had much experience with buying vehicles before.

For example, here are 7 Questions to Ask a Ford Dealer in Racine so you can understand how to be an informed shopper.

  1. Emphasizing Looks Instead of Conveniences

We’ve all been victims of buying something that looks cool but isn’t practical, whether it’s clothing, a car, or a piece of furniture. Since you’ll have to use your car often, you need to make sure it’ll serve you well so you can be comfortable, safe, and productive.

If you have children, then you should set your sights on vehicles for families that maximize space. If you’re on a tight budget and only need to drive yourself, then a smaller car will save you gas money and be easier to maneuver.

  1. Failing to Request a History Report for Used Cars

Anyone who decides to take the used car route shouldn’t sign any paperwork before seeing a detailed vehicle history report. This document will tell you everything you need to know about this car’s life and how it was cared for in the past. This can give you a better idea if the car will be prone to breaking down after you buy it.

You should also consider getting a second opinion from a mechanic who can give you peace of mind that the car is fit for driving safely.

  1. Buying Unnecessary Extras

Since salespeople work on commissions, they’ll try to sweeten the deal with extras that sound cool, but may not be practical whatsoever. The end result amounts to you wasting tons of money on things you don’t need. Do your research on these add-ons so you can decide which features would benefit you.

  1. Forgetting to Test Drive

Most cars can look cool and comfortable from your first impression, but you won’t truly know their personalities until you take a drive. As you drive, you can assess if the seats are comfortable, if the gas pedal is sensitive, if the car sits too low to the ground, and so much more. If you can’t see yourself enjoying each ride, then that’s a sign that you need to move on to something else.

  1. Not Reading Your Contract Closely

Once you sign the paperwork, everything is a done deal. This means you need to be confident that you’re getting what you want. Don’t skim or else you might agree to a high-interest rate or other undesirable things that put a bad taste in your mouth for years to come.

You Don’t Want to Make These Vehicle Shopping Errors

Now that you’ve learned about some of the most common vehicle shopping errors, you can be more careful as you get ready to start browsing. Since a car is a huge investment, you don’t want to have any buyer’s regret.

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