Buying a car, used or brand new, can be a stressful experience for anyone. Buying a car is a major life decision that should be entered into with caution. It is important to know certain information so you are not taken advantage of, and have an idea of what you want/do not want before starting this process. No matter if you are buying a new or used car, you should prepare yourself ahead of time so you get the best deal. 

If you are trading in your old car, make sure you know the value of it

Trading in a car for a newer car is a great way to lower your car payment. Make sure you look on Kelley Blue Book for the value the car you are trading in. When you get to the dealership, the dealership will take your car, and give you an offer for it. If their offer is higher than what you expected, great! If not, you should bring up the Kelley Blue Book price and discuss the dealership’s current offer. 

You don’t have to buy today

When going to the dealership to buy a car, it is likely that the sales associate will pressure you into buying today. You are not obligated to purchase a new car when you go to the dealership. Buying a car is a big life decision. You should do so when you are ready, not the dealership. 

An appropriate interest rate for your credit score

If you are financing your new car, make sure you have an idea before going into the dealership of what your interest rate will be. It is possible that if you finance your car through your bank, and not the dealership, you will get a lower rate. However, it is also possible that the dealership will offer you a lower interest rate than your bank. 

How the warranty works

If your car comes with a warranty, make sure you know the details of your warranty. The dealership will try to up-sale different warranty options to you. Know the decision is yours for what warranty you have or do not have. I personally did not care to have the seats in my new car under warranty, but wanted to make sure the mechanical and electrical aspects of my car were. It all depends on what you care about, and what you want. 

What you can afford

When going to the dealership, it is easy to see the fancy options and want to get something nicer or newer. However, keep in mind that you, not the dealership, are responsible for the monthly payment. Make sure your payment is high enough to where you pay off your car in a reasonable amount of time, but also low enough where you are still able to live comfortably and put some money into savings.

Kallie B
When Kallie is not working full time trying to raise money, she is often studying how people process political messages. Powered with 2 undergraduate degrees, 1 graduate degree and now working towards a Ph.D., she has dived into the world of political communication and psychophysiological research. She is a 5th generation Texan, and has been in politics since she was 8 years old.