The Do’s and Dont’s of Car Shopping

A car is needed. You realize this after you have to tie a string to the windshield wiper in order to see during a rainstorm. Plus your young family is growing, which means you require additional space and comfort. The problem is you’re unsure about the whole car shopping experience.

You’ve heard horror stories of slick-haired salespeople who tack on thousands of dollars of extras and warranties to a car’s actual value. And when the automobile gets driven off the lot, it breaks down at the first traffic light. You don’t want this to happen. In fact, you want to make the experience as painless as possible. Here are a few do’s and dont’s to follow to help you get the car you want.

DO your research

There was a time in history where people went blind into a car dealership and had to rely on the fact the salesperson was actually telling the truth. This doesn’t happen much anymore thanks to the Wonderful World Wide Web. Sites like Kelly’s Blue Book and Edmunds offer consumers a chance to research their potential purchase before stepping into the dealership. Fortunately, many salespeople know this as well and try to tone down the amount of fluff in their presentations.

DO take a test drive

The car you want may look great, but does it drive the same? Don’t sign anything until you get into the car and drive it around the area you think it will be used the most. Determine how much leg and head room it has as well as its handling in different situations. You may discover the vehicle isn’t for you after all.

DON’T lease

Yes, the ability to make low monthly payments and return the car for a new one after a certain period of time seems enticing; however, let’s think of it another way. You’re renting a car for three or more years. Should you damage the car in any way it’s on you to make the payments, just like if you rented from a place like Hertz. In addition, you never own the car — it’s always under the dealership or the financing outfit. A lease is one of the worst investments someone can make.

DON’T finance

Financing a new vehicle isn’t as bad as leasing. You own the vehicle … along with the bank that lent you the money. Miss a few payments and they can take sole ownership back. Save up as much money as you can to purchase the next car. And if you can’t afford the one you want look for something less expensive and upgrade as you collect more money.

DON’T purchase extended warranties

The standard warranty that comes with most cars are pretty extensive these days. Some of them last longer than the physical life of the vehicle, which means it’s pointless to purchase an extended warranty from the dealer. These type of products normally don’t take effect until the manufacturer’s warranty expires. You sell your car before then and you don’t get back the investment made.



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