To buy new or not to buy new—that is one of many questions when it comes to purchasing a vehicle.
For most of us, buying a new vehicle is a massive decision. It’s a big investment that requires the careful weighing of everything from safety to cost. In the end, the stress that comes with those decisions too-often outweighs the joys of owning a new (to you, at least) car.
But purchasing a vehicle should be cause for celebration. It’s at once an affirmation of your mobility and independence and the adoption of your new home-away-from-home.
So, next time you look for a vehicle, make the most of the experience with this step-by-step guide to stress-free car-buying.
Step 1: Do Your Research
Figuring out what you want before you start to look for a vehicle is a key way to save yourself from unnecessary headaches.
Try ranking these qualities to determine what’s most important to you in your future vehicle:
- Fuel Efficiency
- Good Warranty
- Quality of Vehicle
After that, make some more detailed notes about what specifically is important to you. Maybe you want seat warmers under ever seat for those cold winter drives. Or maybe you need a special seat for your furry friend.
Now is also a good time to look ahead to the future. Try to think long-term with these considerations in mind:
How much are you willing to pay in insurance?
How fuel efficient do you want your vehicle to be?
If pre-used, how much mileage can the car already have?
How long do you plan to keep the vehicle? And how much do you want to make back if you trade or resell it?
Also, try to draw up a budget. Consider these questions:
- How much can you afford to spend on a vehicle?
- How much are you willing to spend on a car that needs refurbishing?
- How soon do you want to have paid off the car?
- How much can you afford to spend on monthly payments?
- How much can you afford to spend on gas, insurance, and future repairs?
Knowing your budget will save you stress both when buying the car, and down the line when the keys are in your hand.
Step 2: Know Your Options
There’s freedom in knowing that you have options. So here are some of yours:
1. Cash Purchase/Buying Outright
If you have the money, this is a good option for those who plan to keep their car for a long time (usually 10+ years).
Things to keep in mind:
- A car’s value depreciates over time. Plus, the longer you have a vehicle, the higher your chances of getting into an accident, or needing repairs.
- While banks will consider a car an asset when giving you a loan, it’s better to think of your car as a liability.
- Long term, you can save money if you choose not to finance or lease by avoiding interest.
If you can’t afford to buy your vehicle outright, this option allows you to make monthly payments. At the end of your financing period, you own the car completely.
Things to keep in mind:
- A financing period is usually at least 2 years, so you’ll be making payments for a while.
- This is still a massive commitment because the car will be 100% yours in the end.
You have a degree of freedom, as you can drive as many miles as you want and sell the car at will.
- Long-term, you’ll pay more than if you purchase outright. Usually, you’ll make a 10-20% down payment then pay interest on the rest.
Leasing a car lets you use a vehicle for long periods of time (typically, 24, 36, 48, or 60 months) without actually owning it.
Things to keep in mind:
- Breaking a lease can be very expensive.
- It’s important to make sure that you get a good leasing contract. Otherwise, you can stand to pay unexpected and excessive wear-and-tear charges.
- Your mileage will likely be limited to an average of 25, 000 km a year, and you’ll pay hefty fines after that.
- This is a good short-term option because you won’t own the vehicle at the end.
- You can usually drive a better car for less money, and you can transition to a newer car more easily later on.
- Unless you are at fault, you won’t be responsible for any mechanical issues.
Step 3: Work with People
Having a trusted person help you through your car-buying adventure can take a load off your shoulders.
While you can search online car listings easily enough, and even turn to friends for advice, nothing beats the one-on-one assistance of a professional. For that reason, auto brokers are an excellent option.
So, what exactly is an auto broker?
- Are experts in the car-buying field who can help their clients get the best deals possible.
- Can save you thousands of dollars whether you’re purchasing your vehicle or refinancing it.
- Can re-negotiate leases, which can save their clients thousands of dollars.
- Have great relationships with auto dealers and car factories.
- Sometimes have vehicles available through private sellers and collectors, which can help you find your dream car.
- Can clear up any confusion you have about your vehicle and your payment method.
The expertise and guidance of an auto broker can save you money and stress at the same time. And, while an “auto broker” sounds like it’ll cost you an arm and a leg, brokers like Lance at Opulent Auto in Montreal actually provide a free service.
More than that, they’re also happy to work around your schedule. Since working with a broker can be free, simple, and flexible, it’s an option to strongly consider.
Having a car-buying expert like Lance on your side can spare you tons of stress. If you want to get in contact with him visit his website at Opulent Auto MTL, phone in by calling 514-516-5487 or email him at [email protected].
Step 4: Pace Yourself
Your dream car probably isn’t going anywhere, (at least not until you get behind the wheel). But many buyers can feel pressured to buy too quickly and end up with bad contracts or unsatisfying vehicles.
So, here are some last tips before you sign any kind of contract:
1. Once you’ve found your dream car, do more research:
-Make sure you’re satisfied with your vehicle’s safety rating and its warranty.
-Learn your vehicle’s history before you buy. Make sure you know its mechanical history and mileage.
-Use this fair-price tool to compare prices with other vehicles to make sure that you’re not being ripped off.
2. Take the time to test drive your car. Check to make sure that you are comfortable:
-With your lines of sight.
-Using the controls.
-Handling and breaking.
3. Get a second opinion:
Chances are, you won’t be the only person affected by your new vehicle. Your family members, friends, and clients are also likely to spend time in it, so it might be worthwhile to make sure they’re also comfortable in your new ride.
Step 5: Relax and Enjoy the Ride
A car is indeed a massive commitment, but once you’ve finally found your dream vehicle, you should be able to enjoy it.
Hopefully, with the help of this guide, you’ll be able to kick back, relax, and enjoy the ride!