Buying a car, whether it’s a first-time purchase or third, can seem like an intimidating experience. Owning your own car and driving yourself to wherever you want to, is very rewarding as you won’t have to hail a cab every time you go to work or rent a car when going on a trip with your friends or family. Before you start planning the route to your getaways, you might want to learn some valuable car-buying tips. There is no other major expense that depreciates as quickly as a new car - just driving it off the lot generally means it loses at least 15-20% in value! That buys a lot of oil changes.
When is the best time to buy a car?
According to experts, there are two times to buy a car. In the last two weeks of December, car dealers often find themselves void of customers, which motivates them to cut prices and break year end sales records. Another good time is July to October as car dealers await new models. Automakers introduce into the market new models and any unsold cars from last year must be moved, sold or liquidated not only to create space for incoming new models but also to cut the cost of maintaining unsold inventory. Also, the best time of the month to buy is the last week as sales people are willing to lower their commission just to sell and meet their monthly quota, which translates whether they get a bonus, qualify for a steady salary or any sales incentive.
Type and Price
The best way to get a good deal on your new car is by arranging your own finance before you finalize your choice of car. You can either search newspapers or browse the net to see the price range of the type of car you're after. That way you should have some idea of the real value of a car when you see it, and can avoid paying more than it's worth. If you pay as much as you can up front you'll pay less interest. To save a healthy sum of money, start a regular deposit from your main bank account into a fee free savings account which is there mainly for the purpose of saving for your car. This way, you can’t be tempted to withdraw from it!
Brand New vs. Second-hand
If you are looking for a used car, chances are that you will come across at least one automobile that was in an accident. You have to know certain things before buying a second-hand car such as the number of past owners, if the car was involved in an accident or has any mechanical problems and the maintenance history of the car. One of the advantages of getting a second-hand car is that you will get a good deal on it and the car in most cases may be close to new. You have to keep in mind that not all used cars are a bargain as many people have had many bad experiences with their used cars. At the end, it all depends on what you feel most comfortable with and of course on your budget.
Do you know your credit score?
If you are not going to pay cash for your vehicle and will seek a bank loan, you should know your credit score. Your credit score shows how much interest rate you will pay on your car loan. Going to car dealers without knowing your credit report is a very grave mistake you should avoid as a car dealer should never know more about your credit than you do. Moreover, there might be an error in your report that will prevent you from getting a loan.
Ordering your car from the factory
You can order your car from the factory if the dealer doesn’t have the color you want or certain options. Some dealers would tell you that you will be charged extra fees if you order your car from the factory. Don’t be fooled as the car you want to order should not cost more than the cars on the lot, provided that you don’t order new add-ons and options unavailable in the original model at the dealer’s shop. Ordering a car from the factory does not cost dealers more, it's ordered as part of their weekly buying. The car dealer will require a deposit, but never pay by check, use a credit card only. If the car comes in and the dealer lifts the price of the car, you will not be able to get your deposit back if you paid by check. You can dispute if off your credit card. Finally, the time required to get your car from the factory can be from 8 weeks to 6 months.
Cash or Finance your car?
Your own personal car is not an investment. It will save you a lot of trouble but still it won’t be a major investment as buying a house. Paying by cash or financing your car is a win-win situation because if you pay with cash, you will save on interest rates and if you get a car loan with a yearly rate, you will invest the money elsewhere and pay a certain sum on monthly basis for the car.