4 decisive elements to consider when buying a new car

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Buying a new car is an exciting but tedious process. You need to research the make and model of new car you want, research local dealerships and their inventory, and then figure out how to pay for it. Amid all of this research and planning, there may be deal breakers along the way. Here are four.

1. The car costs more than your maximum budget

Car Dealer Price | Getty

The first deal breaker is the simplest. If the car is out of your price range, don’t buy it. Although you can find financing to cover the cost of the car, it probably isn’t worth the added stress of a hefty monthly payment. In this case, it’s good to keep your “needs” rather than your “wants” in mind when buying a car, because your “wants” could easily get you into financial trouble.

If you don’t want to avoid buying the car, you can always settle for a lower trim level or buy one without so many options or accessories to appease your budget.

2. The dealership you work with isn’t up to snuff

A salesperson talks to a customer.
A salesperson talks to a customer. | J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images

If you’ve found the car you want at a local dealership, but aren’t happy with the seller’s service, walk away. While point of sale is just a one-time deal, it’s important to find a dealership that meets your needs and treats you well.

Why? Because you’re probably going to go back to that same dealership for service and maintenance on the car you buy. A bad experience could be a telltale sign that the dealership doesn’t value its customers.

However, this is not always the case. If you like the car from the dealership, one solution is to talk to the sales manager or general manager and voice your complaints. At the end of the day, they want your business and will do whatever they can to make it right – even that means pairing you up with another seller.

3. The car does not match your personal preferences

Woman smiling after buying a red car
Woman smiling after buying a red car | Wiki Commons

If you find the make and model you want, but it’s not the right color or trim level, move on. It’s easy to settle for a car that lacks small features, like a sunroof that you’ll never use, for example.

But if a car isn’t the right color or doesn’t have heated seats or leather interiors, you’ll have to live with it every day for years. It’s best to find the exact car – or as close as possible – upfront, so you won’t have any buyer regrets.

4. You can’t get the interest rate you want

A 0% financing sign on the window of a car dealership.
A 0% financing sign on the window of a car dealership. | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Remember those car payments we talked about earlier? You won’t be able to afford them if the car loan interest rate is too high. Depending on your credit history and current situation, you should aim for an interest rate below 10%.

According to NerdWallet, the ideal interest rate for a new car is between 2.96% and 6.57% for super-prime to non-prime borrowers. However, if you are in the subprime category (below a credit score of 600), you may be subject to interest rates in excess of 10%. In this case, it might be better to wait until you can get a better rate or to give up on buying a new car altogether.

Deal breakers when buying a new car

Buying a new car is an exciting time. But it can easily be replaced by one of these four decisive elements. If you are considering buying a car, take your time and see if the process meets the necessary criteria. If not, be prepared to leave and come back to do your car shopping when the time is right.

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