What to Consider When Buying a New Car

What to Consider When Buying a New Car

Top Tips to Ensure You Get the Car You Want for a Price You Can Afford

Due to the semiconductor chip shortage along with inflation on new cars being over 10%, shopping for a new car is more difficult than it was a couple years ago. Supply is down while demand is as high as ever. This means that new car shoppers and dealerships alike are having to find ways to make the purchase work. Everyone wants a win-win scenario.

To provide you with a little guidance, here are our top five tips for shopping for new cars for sale. Hopefully, by following these you will be able to find the car that you want (or something very close) that is within your budget.

#1 – Do Some Research on Your Trade-In

If you’re looking at new cars for sale, then it’s likely that you’ll be trading in your current vehicle. Fortunately, the arena of used vehicles is a seller’s market right now. Many people who have sold their used cars are reporting that they got above Kelley Blue Book value.

Do some research on your current vehicle to determine its value. Additionally, you should pull out any relevant paperwork regarding repairs or service that you’ve had done on the vehicle within the past couple years. This lets the dealership know that you have been taking care of the vehicle, which might pump up the value of your trade in.

#2 – Review Your Monthly Budget and Determine What You Can Afford

When shopping for new cars for sale in Houston, it helps to think about what you can afford in terms of a monthly payment as opposed to the sticker price (unless you plan on paying in cash, of course). If you’re like most new car shoppers, you plan on getting financing. However, you can’t simply take the starting MSRP of a vehicle and plug it into the payment estimating calculator.

When determining your monthly car payment, make sure to include your state sales tax, the cost of insurance, and any relevant dealership fees. Doing the math beforehand allows you to know which cars you can afford and which ones you can’t.

#3 – Shop for Cars Online Before Your In-Person Visit

The wonderful thing about the Internet is that you quite literally have every single car listing in your area right at your fingertips. You can either Google “new cars for sale near me” or you can be more specific and type in the make and model of vehicle you’ve had your eye on. Or, you can go to the website of the dealership near you and shop their selection.

Make sure to use the filters so that you can whittle things down by price, drivetrain, body type, and whatever other attributes are important to you. The goal here is that you get your selection down to the two or three cars that look like they might be a good fit for your driving style, needs, and budget.

#4 – Make Sure to Take a Thorough Test Drive

Okay, now the fun part – test driving. You should definitely go into the test drive with a mental checklist to get the most out of it. For instance, you should make sure to:

  • Drive the vehicle at low to moderate speeds through residential areas
  • Drive the vehicle at high speeds on the Interstate
  • Perform several left and right-hand turns
  • Drive the vehicle in reverse
  • Test the brakes thoroughly (including a hard stop)
  • Test the driver’s assistance features (ex: adaptive cruise control)
  • Thoroughly test the acceleration capabilities

Another thing that you should keep in mind when test driving is the feature package. Don’t be afraid to have your sales associate walk you through what features are included with the vehicle. Having Apple CarPlay/Android Auto or a premium sound system may just be the deciding factor in your purchase.

#5 – Loan Terms Can Be Stretched

Typically, when applying for new car financing, your dealership will have a default loan term in mind. However, if it turns out that the loan term makes your monthly payment too high, you can always ask for it to be extended by a year or two. Although this will likely result in a higher interest rate, it will give you a lower monthly payment ,which means you’ll have more money back in your budget for groceries, bills, and other essentials.

Ready to Shop for New Cars for Sale? It’s Time to Kick Off Your Search!

By following these five tips, you should be able to find the vehicle that meets your needs, is in line with your driving style, and is within your monthly budget. Kick things off right now by searching “new cars for sale near me.” In many cases, dealerships are running specials on new cars to entice shoppers like yourself. Make sure to get the lay of the land before committing to one dealership.