New Car Buying Guide

August 5th, 2020 by

Buying a new car is an exciting life event, but it can also be intimidating. If you’re currently in the market for a new or used car in Columbia, Tennessee, it’s important to know what is important to you before you make your way to your local car dealerships. The more prepared you are before you begin shopping, the more likely you are to get a great deal on a car you love. Here are the 11 most important factors to consider before you buy your next car.

Your Credit and Finances

The most important factor when choosing a car is understanding how much you can afford to spend. It’s vitally important to ensure that you are spending responsibly. In addition to the most obvious factors when planning your finances, it’s also important to understand your credit score. Responsible lending behavior contributes to your score, and the higher your score is, the more options you’ll have for financing, often under better terms. If you are planning for your new car several months out, you should also focus on raising your credit score during that time.

Your Payment Options

While some car buyers opt to pay for their entire purchase upfront, cars are really expensive, and most buyers opt for financing. When making a purchase by financing, you have several options, ranging from direct financing through the dealership to working with a bank for the financing you need. The more options you explore, the more likely you are to get a great deal on payments and interest rates.

What You Need and What You Want

Anytime you are making a major purchase, it’s important to do so while being well-informed about what you are purchasing. One key distinction to understand is the difference between what you need to have and what you would simply like to have but could sacrifice under the right circumstances. These lists should cover everything from essential factors like safety features down to simple joys, like easy Bluetooth integration or a backup camera. Knowing what matters to you can help you narrow your options and weigh the pros and cons of each choice more easily.

What Option Is Best for You

Buying a car is different than running to the store to pick up a new outfit or other standard purchases because there are so many more options to consider. In addition to determining if you want to buy a new or used car, you have to decide if you want to buy at all or if you would be better off leasing. There are pros and cons to each choice, so assessing your needs is key in determining what is the best fit for you.

What the Local Market Looks Like

There’s no better way to prepare for your next car purchase than by seeing what the car market in Columbia, Tennessee, looks like. Car dealerships have some flexibility when working with you; however, in order to get the best results, you should know the current state of the market to understand what types of cars are available and how much they are going for.

How Much Is Your Old Car Worth

If you are making a purchase while still driving a car that you will no longer need, that’s great news, because you’re driving a trade-in value that can go toward the down payment on your new purchase. With online information, it’s never been easier to simply do a web search for your make and model and get estimates on how much your car is worth so you know what to expect and what to accept when offered a trade-in.

The Specials Available

It’s common for car dealerships to hold special sales throughout the year, and before you head out to shop you should look into what specials are available locally. Finding the right deal can help save you thousands of dollars in the long term on your next new or used car purchase.

The Car’s Longevity and Mileage

Not all cars are created equally, and it’s crucial to know the longevity of the cars you are considering before making a decision to purchase. With the difference in how long cars last, you may actually be getting more value from a car with more miles but a longer expected lifespan compared to a less-used vehicle that does not age as well.

Your Potential Car’s History

Another important thing to understand before buying is the history of the car in question. You should request any information available on both the vehicle’s accident history and its service records. It’s important to know how much work has been done on a car before committing to purchasing it. You should also ask about any checkups done at the lot before sales, such as changing the oil and tires, checking the car’s batteries and other systems, and any other basic tuneup procedures.

What Protections Are Available

Just because you’re driving off the lot doesn’t mean the protections for your car provided by the dealership have to end. Many new and used cars come with certified warranties from manufacturers, and dealerships can offer additional protection on top. Ask about any warranties or car services the dealership provides to ensure that you know all your rights with your new vehicle.

How It Feels

Nothing will matter more to you once you have your car than how you like driving it. Make sure to take a test drive to get a sense of your car, such as how it accelerates, brakes, and handles. Finding a car that feels good is key to being satisfied with your purchase.

Pulling out of the lot in your new car is a wonderful feeling, and it’s even better when you know you got the right car at the right price. When you keep these tips in mind you can be sure that you got the best possible deal for you. You’ll be glad you did when you find the car you need at a price you can afford. Come on down to Stan McNabb Chevrolet, where we’ll help you find your next car.