The 8 most common mistakes people make when buying a car. And this is how you avoid them…
They say that after a house, a car is the most expensive thing a person will buy in their life, so it’s vital you get it right. But what are the most common pitfalls to avoid?
1. Not trusting your instincts
If something doesn’t feel quite right with the sale, don’t go through with it. It’s as simple as that. It can be easy to get caught up in the whole experience of buying a car, but it’s a big investment that will become a big part of your life, so make sure it feels right.
2. Being afraid to haggle
Ever heard the phrase “If you’re not embarrassed by your first offer then it’s too high”? This is never truer than when it comes to car buying. Go low and let the seller meet you at a point you’re both comfortable with. You’ll be amazed how much you can save.
3. Not knowing your worth
If you’re trading in your current car, make sure you get a couple of trustworthy valuations ahead of time. Print out the valuation reports and take them along with you as bargaining power.
4. Cracking under pressure
If you’re being offered a ‘Today only’ special price, don’t worry, it’s likely to still apply tomorrow. If you need more time to think about your purchase, take it! It’s a big choice and you have to be 100% comfortable with it.
5. Not getting your timing right
Dealerships have targets to hit and, if you get the timing right, you can often bag yourself a real bargain as they push to hit them. Try shopping at the end of the month, or at least at the end of the week. And bear in mind that the new plate releases are in March and September, meaning dealers are often looking to get rid of their ‘old’ stock around then too.
6. Not thinking about the future
The upfront cost of a car is not the only thing you have to think about during the buying process. Find out how much servicing costs, the average cost of any new parts that might need replacing, and be sure to give your insurance a call to see how the new vehicle affects your existing policy. The last thing you want is to commit to the purchase then realise you can’t realistically afford it. For more information on the true cost of running a car, see our used car buying tips here.
7. Buying for the moment
It’s tempting when you’re in the showroom to drive away in the first car that catches your eye, but that’s not always the right choice. Depreciation means you need to get your money’s worth before you look to upgrade, so buying a car that might only be suitable for a year or two isn’t always the wisest choice. Look for something that will be suitable for the next 3 years at least.
8. Not being prepared
Getting your dream car at your dream price is a whole lot easier when you already have the cash burning a hole in your pocket. Dealers are more likely to offer up a bargain to secure the sale, and it means you don’t have to go through any applications in the final stages of the buying process.
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