How To Buy A Car? An Overview.
Congratulations on taking the crucial first step in acquiring your new or used wheels! We offer personal recommendations, based on a combined 50 years of experience both inside and outside the retail auto industry. When you're ready to buy, we'll point you in the right direction, whether you decide on buying privately, using a private auto broker or consultant, going through an established online service, or going it alone at your local dealer.
The Cars Have Changed - A lot has changed in 40 years. Today's vehicles last twice as long as the cars of 1960, but they cost ten times as much. In 1960 the average new car cost $2,500 and traveled about 75,000 miles over a seven-year lifespan. Today the median price of a new car is $25,500 dollars. According to the US Department of Transportation, today's vehicles will average 145,000 miles in 13 years.
So Have the Buyers - Forty years ago, used-car buyers dreamed of buying new; new-car buyers dreamed of more expensive models. Now, many smart car shoppers who want quality and dependability are turning to used cars first. Plentiful supplies of warranties, low-mileage, late-model cars coming off lease have altered both the new and used car marketplace. With yearly model changes a thing of the past, most of these well-maintained, late-model vehicles look and perform like new.
Don't Wait Until The Last Minute - Don't wait until the last minute to go shopping. It can take up to 6 weeks to research, test-drive, choose, finance, insure, purchase, and register a car, whether it's new or used. If you don't take your time, unscrupulous people can pressure you into making bad decisions. An anxious or desperate buyer is the car dealer's best friend.
Four Methods Commonly Used To Buy Cars -
- The first is the old-fashioned way. You go to a dealer in your area and look around. Spotting a vehicle you like, you enter the showroom. You sit down with the first available salesperson, agree on a monthly payment that sounds affordable, sign a purchase order, and give them a deposit. The next day the dealer calls you, says your loan's approved, and tells you when you can pick it up. This method provides a simple, quick, and painless sales experience for you, and an unexpected windfall for the lucky dealer. Chances are you settled on a vehicle you knew little about, paying $500 to $3000 more for it than you had to. Unfortunately this is the way many Americans buy cars.
- The second method is that you hire an auto broker. Brokers can find a car matching your specifications, get the best financing, negotiate for you, and deliver the vehicle to your doorstep. If you have a trade, they'll find a buyer for it as well.
- Online buying, the third method, is fast becoming the preferred method for busy people who don't have the time to comparison shop at multiple dealers. If you're easily intimidated by salespeople, or dread dealer negotiations, we recommend online buying for you. This method provides a simple, quick, and painless sales experience, without the fear of being ripped off by an unscrupulous salesperson or business manager. The online buying experience is essentially the same as using a reputable auto broker. The only thing you need to worry about is deciding upon which vehicle is right for you. The next step is easy, just go to the website and get your guaranteed best price quote from the site's network of participating dealers. Online buyers get competitive prices, while participating dealers benefit by trimming sales commissions and marketing expenses. This is the way most Americans will purchase their vehicles in the next ten years.
- If you're up for the challenge, the fourth and most satisfying way to buy a new car is to do your own research and negotiations.
Using our 20-step technique, you make a smart, informed decision about which car is right for you. You get your financing before you buy. You become familiar with leasing, warranties, and insurance. You use dealer inventories for hands-on evaluation and test-driving. After narrowing your search, you begin negotiations. If you decide on a used car, you use our rigorous pre-purchase inspection to detect major and minor problems. If everything checks out, you go on to final negotiations, and buy your car. Then you're savvy about potential problems down the road, and smart about maintenance.