Yesterday we discussed how staying aware and in command of your experience puts you in the driver’s seat. By not answering questions you don’t feel like answering, and asking all the questions you want answers to, keeps you in control. Remember, the one asking the questions is the one in control of any conversation you engage in.
Today’s tip is about being prepared before you walk on the car lot.
Coming Prepared means, do your homework! Buyers who walk away with the best deals are usually those who have done their homework. Shop online, read evaluations from disinterested 3rd parties, ask a driver of the type of vehicle you’re interested in how they feel about their car. See if they’d be willing to let you drive their car before you take a test drive at the lot. You may find you don’t like it and therefore don’t need to go through the hassle of going to the lot about that vehicle.
Secure financing 1st before going to the dealer. Determine what you can truly afford in your budget and stick with that figure. A credit union will usually be your best bet when buying or leasing a new car.
Remember a new car usually means higher insurance rates. Call your insurance agent for a quote BEFORE going on the lot, before you buy. Understand the gas mileage, maintenance requirements, estimated cost of repairs, etc. Know as much as possible about the potential cost of buying and owning the car you’re dreaming about. That way you can not only stay within your budget, but plan for future expenses related to the experiences of others prior to buying. A buyer who stays in their budget at the dealership is a much happier owner on the road.