Buying a car is a great idea until you actually have to do it. Then, it’s all research, test drives, paper work, facts, figures, and arguments with yourself about which options to take. The last thing you want is to be ripped off and to end up driving a death trap that results in a car accident the same day you drive it away (call a car accident lawyer if you have been affected). Here are some things to consider…
Don’t blow your budget
One of the more common regrets experienced by car buyers is the mistake of having spent their entire budget on a vehicle without planning for any likely (or necessary) extras. While this may seem logical at first glance (what’s the point in having a budget if you’re not going to spend it?), there are always extra costs when buying a car that should be considered. For example, cheap car insurance policies are not free. Does the car require any maintenance? Do you need to invest in simple things like car mats, new oil, or new windscreen wipers? Have you checked the depth of the rubber treads that you will rely upon to grip the road?
Above all, it’s important to remember that new vehicles tend to have some kind of teething problems, and that having a contingency amount of money available to deal with these issues is advisable – blowing all of your budget on the car alone is a brave move.
Planning on selling the car on (eventually)? Check out current resale values
Nothing depreciates faster than a car. While other luxury purchases such as real estate and jewelery can be expected to fluctuate in value over time, with a general upwards swing in value in most cases, vehicles only ever come down in value. Well, that is with the exception of classic cars, but we’re assuming you’re not buying a highly collectable 1959 Cadillac in red, and that you’re more likely to be purchasing a more affordable run around for work, errands, commuting, and family use.
If you are torn between two or three options, always consult with resale prices to help you decide. Where one car clearly represents a higher return on your investment over time, your decision making process will be more informed.
Buying from a dealer vs buying from a private seller
There are clear and obvious advantages to buying a car from a car dealer. First, the dealership staff will not only be knowledgeable about all things car related, but they will also be motivated to look up details of the car you’ve chosen and will go into great detail about all the things you should know. This saves you time. The only downside is that dealerships have sales targets, so there may be some concerns over the sales language used to make a car sound more like the investment you’re looking for than it really is.
Private sellers aren’t likely to be as knowledgeable and don’t offer after sales support, but they will forgo any sales spiel, leaving the legwork and the decision making purely down to you and your bargain hunting skills.