Some of the most common mistakes car buyers make:
Is a car trade in the way to go? Whether you are buying new or used, many people choose to sell or trade in their car for extra money. The money can be used as a down payment or to lower the price of the purchase of a new car. Here are some issues to consider.
- Not doing their homework — Forcing themselves to get their “product knowledge and comparisons” from automobile salespeople. They are bad teachers!!
- Not taking advantage of the tools that are available — The Internet has made this incredibly easy. Compare car insurance rates at Netquote.com, check your credit securely online and get financing quotes from Automotive.com. Do as much of your car buying “legwork” from the comfort of your home or office. It sure beats making dozens of phone calls and running all over town!
- Neglecting to test drive the model they want to buy — Always, always, always drive the vehicle. Don’t take anyone else’s word for how it handles. This includes friends, family, and car salespeople!
- Leasing a vehicle because its the “modern” thing to do — Leasing may or may not be the right avenue for you. Investigate all your options before you commit.
- Spending too much time “price comparing” and not enough “model comparing” — a great price on a bad vehicle does not make a good deal.
- Assuming that the dealer will get them a good deal on the financing — This is one of the biggest pitfalls when buying a car (and a very expensive one). See our financing section for hints on saving money.
- Buying the wrong model because it is the right color — Sounds simple, but a lot of people will focus so strongly on color that they miss the vehicle that is under that fancy paint!
- Not preparing their current vehicle — whether it be for trade-in or to resell on their own. No one wants to buy a dirty car or truck, whether it be a dealership or a private individual.
- Buying add ons and accessories from the dealer — most of which is added to boost the profit of the vehicle. You generally can do this on your own much more economically and get better quality.
- Not having enough information at their disposal — believing that past experience is enough ammunition in today’s market. This can be one of the worst mistakes a car buyer can make. The automotive market is constantly changing and the prepared buyer is the successful one (and the one with more money in their pocket!) There are links to numerous sources of additional information on this Web Site…take advantage of them.
- Giving up the savings they made on the purchase when it comes to the ownership of the car–to avoid this, see the sections devoted to insurance and repairs and maintenance. Getting control of these costs can only enhance your long term savings.