9 Steps to Buying A Car
Buying a car can be an experience shrouded in doubt… Some of the common questions that come to mind range from: What car should I buy? How much should I spend? Am I missing anything? How do I buy a car? While all of these questions may be running through your mind, make sure you take a step back and be grateful you’re in a position to buy a car, congrats, that’s a big deal! The most important thing you should have before buying a car is a driver’s license. While anyone can buy a car, only people with licenses can drive the car off the lot. Let’s get right into it, what are the nine steps to buying a car?
Step 1: Create A Realistic Budget.
Before you start dreaming about driving away in a Porsche or a Ferrari, let’s be realistic on what you can afford. While both cars are beautiful, the last thing you want is to buy a car you can’t afford and end up having to sell or lose due to payments you can’t afford. First, think about how much you can spend monthly without compromising your financial well being. To make it easy for you, let’s discuss the 20/4/10 rule!
The 20/4/10 rule states you should make a down payment of at least 20%, lease or finance a car for no longer than 4-years and spend no more than 10% of your total monthly income. For example, if you earn $2,000 a month, your car payment should be no more than $200 including your insurance payment. Our team will gladly help you with an insurance quote to make your life easier.
Step 2: Define Your Car Needs.
- How many people will I need to fit into my car?
- How much storage do I need?
- What can I afford to spend on gas?
- What can I afford to pay for maintenance?
- Many people don’t consider maintenance or gas expenses when they’re buying a car and end-up regretting buying the car due to high expenses!
Step 3: Research Your Options.
The internet has a number of great car comparison tools that cover everything from estimated gasoline, maintenance and ownership costs to the reliability of vehicles and reviews.
Step 4: Find A Trustworthy Dealer.
Many people dread the car buying experience because they’re scared to deal with car salesmen. While we don’t have anything against car salesmen, many services have been created to simplify the car buying experience. If this is your first car, we recommend looking at used cars as car ownership can be complicated and confusing. We don’t want you to spend all of your hard-earned money on a shiny new car, only to lose it due to poor maintenance habits or an accident. I mean who would’ve guessed cars use oil! We recommend getting quotes from a few car dealerships and try to negotiate the best offer! Remember, you’re spending your hard-earned money!
Step 5: Take A Test Drive!
Before you buy a car, make sure to take a test drive to ensure everything is up to your standards. When buying used cars, be cautious of cars sold “as is” as they can be a headache.
Step 6: Negotiate A Great Price!
While the salesperson helping you may be very friendly and patient, make sure you’re negotiating a great price! Try to negotiate a price and package that will make the most sense for you financially! You are the buyer, you have the control, and you should be buying what is best for you. There are a lot of options in the market, and you can always go elsewhere for a better deal!
Step 7: Buy The Car!
After you’ve narrowed down your options, you need to decide how you are going to purchase your car. You have a few options:
- Finance your car and pay your car down across a few months through a loan.
- Lease your car for a few years. We do not recommend leasing a car longer than 5-years but make your decision based on your needs and financial situation.
- You can purchase the car outright or in other words, cash!
Step 8: Protect Your Car!
Now that the hard part is out of the way, you need to get that new car insured! Many people forget they need to get insurance for their cars. Insurance can be an experience just as confusing, if not more confusing than buying a car. Some of the questions we typically hear are: What’s the best policy for me? What coverage is going to protect both me and my family? Why do the prices range so much? We understand how frustrating it can be to find the right insurance that meets your coverage and budget needs. Leave your insecurity behind and drive away with the confidence you deserve after working with our team to find the best insurance policy for you and your family.
Step 9: Enjoy The Car Buying Process And Your New Car!
If you followed the above 9-steps, you’ll be driving a new car that fits within your budget, meets your needs, and is exactly what you wanted! Congratulations on your new car!!! As you may have noticed by the above steps, you don’t have to be an expert to buy a car. You can do anything you put your mind to if you take your time, research the topic, keep your options open, and do what is best for you.