Ready to buy a used car? It can be an exciting time. There are so many different kinds of vehicles to choose from, and you can find something that's similar to what you've had before or choose something completely different. The one thing you definitely don't want to do, though, is make a car buying mistake that's going to cost you money. Here are six of the most important car buying mistakes to avoid.
1. Buying the Wrong Vehicle for Your Needs or Lifestyle
If you have a big family and frequently take them on trips, a small car or a two-seater option isn't a good choice. While that might seem very obvious, it's harder to remember that when you're at the dealership, faced with all those sleek-looking sports cars.
But you'll have a lot of buyer's remorse later, when you realize there isn't room for a car seat in the back of that muscle car, or the luggage won't fit in the tiny trunk of the economy car that seemed like such a great deal for your budget. Take the time to find the vehicle that fits what you really need and want.
2. Mixing Your Money and Your Emotions
Your budget should be set before you go to the dealership, and you'll need to stick to it. Sure, it can be tempting to get into a more expensive car. It's easy to think about doing that when you see how nice it looks, or how much luxury it offers. But you can't let emotion get in the way of common sense.
Once the newness of that vehicle wears off, you'll likely find that it's just a vehicle — and it's one that you may have paid too much for. Rather than take that chance, keep your focus on the cars that fit your budget. Buying a slightly older version of the car you really want is better than blowing your budget.
3. Talking About Your Trade-In Right Away
Dealers want to negotiate the price of the car you're trying to buy, along with the amount they'll give you for your trade-in, all at once. Buyers don't usually come out well in those deals. You'll be focused on the bottom line, and may not realize they're offering you $500 for a car that's worth $3,000.
Don't take the bait. Talk about the car you want to buy, and negotiate a price for it first. Get that part done and determine whether you're happy with it. If you are, then you can proceed to talk about your trade-in. At that point, the dealership won't be able to raise the price of the car they're selling to accommodate the trade.
Better yet, don't trade your car in at all an earn more cash by buying privately through a secure app like PrivateAuto
4. Being Afraid to Walk if the Deal Is Bad
A lot of people who go to a dealership to buy a car feel like they're trapped there and have to make a purchase. They aren't willing to leave if they don't like the deal, and they aren't willing to leave to think it over. You should be willing to do those things, since it reduces the chances of a bad deal.
Walking away is the right choice if the deal isn't a good one. You aren't trapped at the dealership, and you aren't being held hostage. If you're not happy with what's being offered to you there, it's much better to leave and look elsewhere like a private sale. Otherwise you could end up paying way too much for a vehicle that's not even right for your life.
5. Letting the Dealer Handle the Financing
The dealer can probably find a company that will finance you, but are you getting the best interest rate and terms that way? The odds are that you aren't, and you could find something better on your own. Shop around and see what you can find when it comes to financing. Then you'll be prepared when you plan to buy.
Many people just take care of everything in one place when they go to the dealership, but the truth is that you may be in a much better financial position if you sell your trade-in vehicle privately and shop around for your own financing. That way, you get the most money for your current vehicle, and you may find a lower interest rate to finance the one you want to buy, as well.
If you are set on doing it all in one place then apply for financing directly through PrivateAuto and buy the vehicle of your dreams all on our self-service app.
6. Going It Alone When You Have Questions
It's reasonable to have questions about buying a car, and if you go through the process alone, you might not get those questions answered. You might also be too uncomfortable to ask about the things that bother you or feel like your questions would be stupid. But don't avoid asking about the deal. That's how you learn.
Make Your Next Used Car Purchase the Right Way
When you plan to buy a used car, choose PrivateAuto. We can help you find the vehicle you need, apply for financing, and buy from a private seller meaning you avoid all those costly car buying mistakes. You can get a great deal through a secure site, where you can do everything in one place. Reach out today and see what PrivateAuto has to offer.