After buying a home, purchasing a car is the next significant financial milestone for most people. Not only are most cars expensive to buy, but they are costly to run as well, so if you’re on the lookout for a new motor, you need to make wise and savvy financial choices. You might experience car buyers remorse if you don’t, and not only will you feel the emotional strain, but your bank balance will feel the pressure too!
Here then are our tips on how to make sensible decisions when buying your next car.
#1: Don’t buy on impulse
It’s a scenario common to many of our spending decisions. We see something we want, momentarily weigh up our options, and then say ‘what the heck’ and go through with the purchase regardless of our financial situation. Tell us you have never done the same! However, while a sneaky chocolate muffin at the bakery won’t bankrupt you if you’re tempted, the same isn’t true of a car. So, don’t be dazzled by the first car you see and don’t fall prey to the salesman’s patter. Before you know it, you will be driving off the lot in a brand new motor but significantly poorer than you were before. Curb your temptation then, and if you see a car you like, shop around for similar models online and around town, as you may well get a cheaper price elsewhere. And if you know you don’t have the funds, either buy something cheaper, or start saving your money with cutbacks or a side-hustle, and wait until the car comes down in price. Playing the waiting game will also give you the opportunity to step back and get a better perspective on your finances before making an unwise spending decision.
#2: Be careful when buying add-ons at the dealership
In an effort to get you to part with your cash, the dealer might sway you with all kinds of add-ons. While some of these will be useful, such as any added safety feature, there will be other attachments, such as heated seating and tinted windows, that are nice to have but not really necessary. And even for those items that might be considered essential, such as these winter-proofed Land Rover tyres, you should get into the price comparison mindset and shop around. Especially when buying on finance, your monthly cost will skyrocket if you buy too many add-ons, so think carefully before agreeing to any extras. You will suffer less remorse if you do, as you won’t drive home with an add-on that is either a) utterly pointless to your needs, and b) way more expensive than those that are better-priced elsewhere.
A. L.#3: Take more than one test drive
Sure, the dealer might huff and puff if you insist on taking more than one test drive, but remember, it is your money you are spending. The longer you spend in the car, the better the impression you will get of the vehicle. You see, there may be hidden problems or unwanted quirks that you might not pick up on when taking the car out for the first test drive. And if you were alone the first time around, you might want to bring along a more experienced driver on your second test drive, as they might pick up on things that you didn’t notice. There are some useful test drive tips here, so have a read, and then factor them in the next time you’re on the lookout for a car. Otherwise, you might spend your money, take your car off the lot, and then regret it when those hidden problems start to surface.
When buying a car, you don’t want to part with your cash in a hurry. Follow our suggestions, and look for other ways to educate yourself to ensure you don’t end up with car buyer’s remorse. And if you have any tips of your own to share with our readers, be sure to let us know. Many of us enjoy driving, but you will enjoy being on the roads more knowing that we have made wise spending decisions.