Purchasing a New Car Checklist and Tips
Purchasing your first new car is a big buying decision. You want to be sure you are making the right choices. A good idea is to make a checklist so you know what you want your vehicle to do, be and have. For example, when I buy a new truck I would want the following:
- 4 wheel drive
- 4 door
- diesel engine
Making a list helps you stay on track to select the vehicle that would meet your specific needs. It helps you quickly narrow down your selection especially since there is such a variety to choose from when buying a new car. You’ll easily find the vehicle that has the features you need and like.
Here are some great tips and a checklist to consider when selection and buying that new car.
Before the Dealership
- Check Safety Ratings – Be sure to check all safety tests including front collision, side collision, rollover, etc. The dealer will most likely be able to provide you with this information at the dealership too.
- Check Reliability Ratings – You can check other car websites to find reliability ratings on past year’s models based on customer feedback. It can give you a great idea on the model’s overall reliability.
- User Feedback – Check other car websites or forums for people that own the car. You can also find out information on the features and how other car owners like them.
- Get Pre-Approved – Many dealerships, banks and lenders offer online pre-approval. This can definitely speed up your time at the dealership and let you know what kind of loan you will be receiving on your new car.
At the Dealership
- Take Charge – Make sure your salesman knows what he/she is talking about and has your full attention. If not, walk away.
- Wait on the Trade – If you have a trade-in be sure to wait until the car shopping is over. Otherwise, they may make you wait while evaluating your trade and try to get you in a deal you aren’t ready to take.
- Test Drive What You Need – There is no reason to test drive a small car if you are looking for an SUV. Be sure to only test drive what you are looking for and not waist your time. Be specific. Remember that list you made before you went, use it!
- Get a Demonstration – Ask the salesman to go over the car features.
- Test Everything – Test all seating positions, audio, ask about spares, check under the hood, cargo space, etc. Be sure everything is what you need and will use.
The Test Drive
- Get Behind the Wheel – Even if you have found the exact car you are looking for, be sure you get behind the wheel and take it for a test drive.
- Turn off the radio – We all love testing out the audio in a new car but be sure you turn it off and listen for any unwanted noise with the car.
Remember, even though you took the car for a test drive, you are definitely not obligated to buy it. I would suggest test driving similar models or brands with the same options and features you are looking for in a new car. You may be surprised to find another model or brand is a better fit. The more data you can gather from various sources, the more likely you are to make the best buying decision.
Good luck on your new car buying adventure!