A new car usually is the second-largest investment for most people, ranking right behind the purchase of a home. Before making a final decision about buying a new car, take time to research the options available in the market. Buying a new car without such research is a gamble — and you could end up overpaying or buying something that doesn't suit your needs and preferences. Here are some tips to help ensure you get a fair deal and a suitable car.
1. Identify what type of vehicle you should buy by asking yourself these questions:
• What features matter to you?
• What's the most you want to pay?
• What type of vehicle fills your needs and fits you aesthetically?
• Is your main concern safety, power or mileage?
• Do you really need to buy this car?
2. Research your options. Once you have determined how much you can spend and have decided on a particular type of car, research the options available within your budget. You can read user reviews online, test-drive cars that interest you and talk to people who already have the model you plan to buy. Shorten your list of possible cars to two or three.
3. Get the best price. You can save a considerable amount of money by negotiating the price with your car dealer. Before you do this, however, do some homework to determine the fair market value of the vehicle. Also, get price quotes for the same car from two or three dealers and compare what each is offering (in terms of upgrades and warranties) before you make a final decision. If you buy a new car in the last week of the month, some dealers are more willing to negotiate so they can sell the car and reach their sales targets for the month.
4. Consider all offers. Inform yourself about car manufacturers' offers, which can include anything from a cash discount to free accessories.