Car buying is stressful. This does not come as a surprise considering how hefty of an investment it is.
Even though purchasing a new vehicle is no easy feat, every year, car sales continue to be steady in the world. According to Statista, 77 million units of cars were sold around the world in 2019! While sales haven’t wavered much, the consumer journey during the car buying process has changed in the past few years.
With the advent of technology, many people now rely on online searches and mobiles when researching potential vehicles to buy.
According to a report called “Freckle IoT: Path to Purchase,” 59 per cent of customers conduct online research when buying vehicles. Similarly, according to a study by J.D. Power, 22 per cent of customers use social media platforms during the car buying process.
If you are thinking of buying a vehicle in today’s world, here are some rules that you should abide by to ensure a sound purchase.
1. Always begin with research
Gone are the days when you can walk into the nearest dealer store and rely on the said dealer to give you the best recommendation and deal. The car buying process of today is much more controlled by customers than it is by sellers.
Take the initiative and make sure you conduct a thorough research about potential vehicles you can buy, what you can afford, and how much you should be willing to give for a given car. While any quality car buying service UK has to offer will provide you with the best deal, it is always best to be informed.
Begin by analyzing your vehicle-related needs. What is it that you would want in your ideal car? What are your desires when it comes to your ride? Once you know what features and specifications you want in a vehicle, begin looking at potential options.
Then, proceed to narrow down the list based on your budget. Read reviews of the options you have narrowed down and decide which you think is the best. After this, search for car buying services that offer you the best price.
2. Never forget to compare
Let’s say you have your mind and heart set at one given car. You think that there can’t be any other vehicle better for you than this one. You begin saving up money for it, as well. But, once you buy the said vehicle, you spot a better one riding off to the sunset.
How do you avoid ever being in such a dilemma? Simple! By comparing different options during the initial phase of your car buying journey. Don’t just compare options based on their technical specifications.
Instead, keep in mind the overall experience of other users. Remember, every brand will always market its product to be the best one out there. But, it is the users who offer impartial insights. Rather than relying on just one source for comparing vehicles, check out different review sites to get a better idea.
3. Test drive your top 5
Once you have conducted research and have read all user-generated reviews, it is time to narrow down your desired choices to your top 5 picks. What metrics you use to filter your options is entirely up to you. You can select based on affordability, mileage, or aesthetics.
Once you have lessened down your choices, it is time to experience what it feels like to drive the given vehicles. Research can only play a limited role in gauging the quality of a car.
Since you are the one who has to drive it, you must the first-hand experience what it feels like to operate a given car before you spend thousands of bucks on it.
Take each of your best five picks out on a drive. Make sure that you drive the same version that you intend to buy. Why? This is because two versions of the same car model can end up feeling very different because of tuning differences, wheel-and-tire choices, and suspension options.
Decide which vehicle out of your top choices feels best when driven and then pick accordingly.
4. Check everything during the test run
Just because a given vehicle drives smoothly on the road doesn’t mean it is good enough to be your ride for the next few years.
For instance, let’s say that a given vehicle feels great to drive in. But, the seating is not comfortable. Similarly, the cargo capacity is abysmal. Do you think you can manage with such a car for a few years?
The chances are you can’t.
This is why it is often advised that you check every element of a vehicle during its test run. Look at seating space, ease of entry and exit, cargo capacity, seat cushioning, quality of infotainment system, etc.
5. Opt for credit union
Are you thinking of using dealer financing options, in case you don’t have enough money to finance the entire car-buying journey? In today’s world, you shouldn’t be limited to such choices.
This is because there are much better financing options out there. One such is getting a credit union. A credit union is a low-cost financing method that makes sure that you get the best rate.
Even if you wish to opt for dealer financing, make sure you don’t finance a car for more than 60 months. Depreciation is a menace for vehicles, and a 60-month financing term will bind you to a vehicle that you no longer want.
Car Buying has never been easier yet challenging!
With the recent influx of information, owing to the rise in technology, the car buying process has become quite easy. But, the downside of this is that as a customer, a lot of decisions have to be solely made by you. This can feel overwhelming.
But, if you use the right tools and platforms, you are bound to make the right decision. And that is what matters.
Audrey Throne is the mother of a 3-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Audrey is passionate about lifestyle, business, automotive, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics.
Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.