The good news is that even if you’re a first time new car buyer, you can be in the driver’s seat and feel in control of your purchasing decision.
What First Time New Car Buyers Should Know Before Buying
1. Narrow Your Search
With more than 900 models to choose from plus dozens of different options and upgrades, being a first time new car buyer can seem overwhelming.
Yet the key to a stress-free car buying experience is to narrow down your options.
Before you start your search, think about what’s most important to you in a new car. Perhaps you need a crossover vehicle or an SUV for your family, but seating color or fabric type don’t matter as much.
Start with the must-have features that will make your car comfortable and safe and then consider doing away with options that would be nice to have, but aren’t necessary.
2. Be Flexible
It’s easy to get swayed by the hot new model or spacious vehicle but getting a fancy new car can cost you.
The more flexible you are on make, model, and features, the more likely you are to get a great deal. So just because you had your eyes on an SUV, if you only need space for two car seats, for example, a crossover will probably do.
3. Shop Incentives
Most first time new car buyers go from dealer to dealer to get the best deal or go with the dealer their family promises will take care of them. In reality, however, the largest discounts come from the manufacturer, not the dealership.
To move excess inventory or keep the factory busy, manufacturers will offer direct to consumer rebates from time to time. So if you want a fair deal, look for brands that offer the highest factory rebates available and exclusively shop them. Since the dealerships don’t have much leeway to reduce the price after the rebate, you’ll get the deepest discounts if you choose a model with the best incentives.
A big mistake many first time car buyers make is signing up for financing through the dealership without comparing all of the options. When you find a car you want, get pre-approved for financing so you can compare the dealers’ interest rates with other auto loan options and get the best deal available.
5. Consider Leasing
According to a report by Experian, in 2015 more than 30 percent of new car financing were leases. If you’re set on a specific make and model, not willing to negotiate on certain features and want to keep your monthly payment low, leasing a new car might be a good option. Most dealerships offer 24 or 36 month lease options and after the term is up, you simply return the car and either start a new lease or buy a new car.
If you decide to lease, put down as little money as possible by negotiating the cap or capitalized cost—the price if you were to purchase the car outright and the money factor or lease interest rate. Also be sure to take advantage of any available manufacturer’s rebates.
Another way to avoid spending too much is to make sure your warranty matches the lease term so if it needs a repair, you’re covered.
A lender can deem you in default after one late payment or several, depending on your loan terms and state and federal laws.
If you default on your car payment, it can affect your credit score, you’ll pay higher interest rates on future loans, debt collectors will call you non-stop and your vehicle can even be repossessed.
7. Start Small, Dream Big
Many first time new car buyers want the hottest brand and newest model completely loaded. Yet instead of spending on a fancy new car, which could leave you strapped for cash when you need it, save your money and get a more affordable car that meets your needs.
8. Beware of the Extras
Since the sales people at dealerships are motivated by commission, they’ll do their best to sell you financing options, extended warranties, credit insurance and dealer installed options that carry expensive mark-ups.
To make sure you don’t spend too much, make a list of extras you must have and those you don’t need. Then decide of those must-haves, how valuable they’ll be when you go to sell so you can make a wise financial choice.
9. Shop For Auto Insurance
Carrying a car insurance policy isn’t negotiable but what you pay for it is. Before you buy a new car, compare all of the insurance carriers in your state and all of the options they offer. Although having a rental car available when yours is in the shop may be non-negotiable, you might decide to lower your deductible to get a better rate even though it could cost you later should you have a car accident.
The type of car you purchase can also affect your insurance since cars with excellent records for safety, accidents and theft may be cheaper to insure. Also, ask about certain discounts you may qualify for like safe driving, multiple vehicles or military.
10. Buy Online
More people than ever before are doing most of their research and comparison shopping online to get a fair deal on a new car. In fact, a survey from DMEautomotive, 46 percent of women visited one dealership or avoided dealerships altogether to look at inventory.
Now with sites like Deliver My Ride, you can purchase, finance and get your car delivered without ever setting foot in a showroom.
With these strategies, instead of feeling like you got the raw end of the deal, you’ll feel empowered and in control of the entire car buying process.
When you’re looking to buy a new car, you probably spend hours researching your options and comparing prices. Although you’ve done all your homework, the minute you walk into the dealership, all bets are off.
When you meet the salespeople, you’re faced with the hard work of negotiating the features, the extras and the price while their only goal is to
make the highest commission possible.
Getting a good deal on a new car becomes an arduous, frustrating process. In fact, 87 percent of Americans dislike something about shopping for a new car at the dealership and 61 percent say they feel like they were taken advantage of, according to a 2016 survey.
With some simple strategies, you can get a great deal on a new car—no haggling necessary. Do Your Research and Compare
This is a given when making any large purchasing decision but to get a good deal on a new car, it’s necessary. Be sure to compare brands and models before making up your mind. You may be able to take advantage of incentives that allow you to get everything you want at a much lower price.
A site like Deliver My Ride where you can search models, options, dealer inventory and pricing in your area code or nearby towns can help you simplify the research process, and give you all of the information including incentives in one place.
Know When to Buy Sales people not only make commission off the sale, but if they sell a certain amount of cars by the end of the month, they often make a bonus from the dealership and the manufacturer. If you wait until the last week of the month, you may have more leeway when it comes to price.
Forgo the Newest Model When manufacturers roll out the new year’s model, they need to clear out inventory from last year. So buying last year’s model, which is still a new car, could save you a significant amount of money.
Look Into Rebates Manufactures periodically offer consumer rebates in order to move excess inventory or keep their factory busy. Once you have your eye on the car you want, visit the brand’s website or follow them on social media for the rebates they’re offering. Also take note of the expiration dates because those are non-negotiable.
At Deliver My Ride, however, you don’t have to do any research because we aggregate the rebates for you.
Want to be notified by email when new deals and rebates are available? Join our list here.
Be Picky About the Extras Salespeople are notorious for trying to add on things like extended warranties, service contracts and road service plans. You might feel pressured to take them but if you don’t think you need them, it’s an extra cost you’ll be stuck with.
If it’s not worth it to you, speak up and stick to your guns.
To avoid getting taken at the dealership, along with a list of what you need in a new car and options you’re willing to go without it’s also a good idea to have a price that you absolutely-under-no-circumstances can you go higher on.
Be sure to calculate the total price of the vehicle, plus additional costs like the title fee, documentation fee and sales tax, which can add up fast.
Of course if you shop online, you never have to feel pressure to buy or add on pricey options you don’t really need. Stay firm on your budget but take into consideration insurance and maintenance too.
Shop For Loan Options If you have excellent credit, you can probably qualify for attractive auto financing options like zero percent or low interest loans. Also, make sure you get pre-approval first and then compare dealer finance options with loans from the bank or credit union.
Call Your Car Insurance Company Before you make a decision, call your car insurance company to get an estimate on your premium for that make and model. You might be surprised to find out how much you’ll be paying and decide to choose a comparable model instead.
If you have ever been in the market for a new car, you know the amount of time and energy the process can take. You’ll spend hours, weeks, maybe even months researching your options, comparing prices and reading reviews.
And that’s before you even step foot into the showroom.
Then there’s negotiating—often the most dreaded piece of the new car buying process. No matter how much research you do and how prepared you are to negotiate, the minute you set foot in the dealership you might feel you’re not taken seriously and you’re pressured on the price.
Your biggest fear is that you’ll get taken advantage of.
Does this sound all too familiar? How can you avoid many of the frustrations and uncomfortable experiences that the typical car buying experience may bring?
The solution is simple. Avoid the salesperson and the dealership. Buy your new car online.
Not sure if this is the right solution for you? Read on.
Reasons To Buy Your New Car Online
1. Comparison Shop In Minutes Instead of Hours
When you buy your new car online, you can compare multiple brands and features, see available inventory in real time and get prices and incentives available at multiple dealerships in minutes flat. You can also sort the same car by price to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.
2. All Dealerships Are the Same
There’s no sense in driving around to multiple dealerships when the dealer is simply a distributor for the manufacturer. They all buy their cars from the factory at the same prices. Why should you have to do the hard work of searching for the best prices, the options you want, etc. by driving or calling around to multiple dealerships?
When you buy your new car online, dealer location and time is no longer an obstacle.
3. Avoid Negotiating and Pressure
Ahh, the art of negotiation. Some people have it, some people don’t. But, should your negotiation skills determine whether you get a fair price on a new car or not? We don’t think so.
Since salespeople work on commission, there is often no incentive for them to give you a good deal. They also know the longer you stay, the more likely you’ll agree to make a purchase.
Online car buying sites like Deliver My Ride, do not work on commission and are not loyal to a brand, so remain unbiased to the entire purchasing process and will never pressure you to buy. Also, since we pull in deals from multiple dealerships that are competing on price, there is no need to negotiate. You buy the car you want without any up-selling or bait and switch deals. (Read: How To Get a Good Price On a New Car—Without Haggling)
4. No Annoying Sales Calls
With online car buying, your information is never given to the dealership or sold to third parties before a sale is made final.
You’ll always be anonymous, you’ll never receive spammy emails or annoying sales calls from the dealerships and you have full control over the process.
5. Stay informed
Not only do inventory levels change constantly, but rebates come and go without much notice so researching ahead of time won’t help you get the best deal if you’re not ready to buy that day.
When you buy your new car online however, inventory and incentives are displayed in real time so you know what’s available now.
6. Save Money
The incentives from the manufacturers actually determine the discount you can get—which is usually in the thousands while dealers can usually save you a few hundred.
The only way to find out which brands are offering big discounts is to shop online and sort through the choices quickly and conveniently.
Car dealerships often advertise their most attractive deals to get you in the door. They might run a deal that’s only $99/a month with zero down but when you get there, suddenly the price is much higher.
The truth is that although they do offer these great deals, they’re only available to a small percentage of customers who meet the precise requirements. These deals usually reflect the best possible scenario and include a lot of fine print.
When you buy a new car online however, there aren’t any caveats. The price you see is the price you get. In fact, you might qualify for an even lower price depending on the incentives available.
With the ability to compare prices and incentives from multiple dealerships in one platform, you’ll never have to negotiate a price or worry about getting taken at the dealership.
8. Get 7 Hours of Your Life Back
Between the time it takes to research your options, drive around to dealerships to get the best deal and finally buy your new car, it could take up a better part of your weekend.
Since deals expire, you could also be spending valuable time after work—or even during the workday—to make sure you’re able to take advantage of them.
Instead of wasting time at the dealerships, you can research and view inventory, prices and incentives in one place and finance and purchase your new car online in as little as 20 minutes. You’ll also have the car delivered to your home as soon as the next morning, ready to drive.
9. Buy On Your Time, Not Dealership Hours Buying a new car is exciting, but going the dealership route can be stressful. You have to take time off work, drive to multiple dealers, wait for approvals and sign a bunch of paperwork, which could mean several hours spent at the dealership.
Not to mention that if you have kids in tow, you’ll probably feel rushed and stressed out which can make it hard to make an informed decision.
When you buy your new car online, it’s easy and convenient to research, shop and buy on your own schedule and without any distractions.
10. You Can Still Test Drive
When you purchase a car online, the car is delivered directly to you at no cost. You can then look it over, test drive it and decide if it is for you. If your new car is delivered to you before the final paperwork is signed and you change your mind, just send it back—no questions asked.
Buying a car is arguably one of the largest purchases you’ll make several times over your lifetime. In 2017, the average cost of a new car is more than $34,000, and that’s not including fuel, maintenance and car insurance.
It’s no surprise then, that buying a new car can make you feel both excited and worried at the same time. No matter how much research you do and how prepared you are to take on the car dealership, haggling on the price is perhaps the worst part of the car buying process.
But it doesn’t always have to be that way. Before you buy a new car, arm yourself with expert car buying secrets that can save you a significant amount of money off the sticker price. Mike McInerney, a 30-year auto industry veteran, lists some commonsense steps every car shopper should consider before signing on the dotted line.
Car Buying Secrets To Save You Money
Compare, Compare, Compare
Although you love the Chevy Equinox for example, you might find that the Honda CR-V will give you more bang for your buck. To save the most money, compare several brands that offer similar styles so you won’t have to sacrifice what you want to get the best deal.
If you buy your new car online, be sure to compare prices from hundreds of dealers and sort by price to find the best deal. At Deliver My Ride, we make comparison shopping easy because we aggregate data from multiple sources to let you compare models, brands, and incentives from every car maker.
Before heading online to research car options, make a list of features you actually need and are non-negotiable and those that would be nice to have but aren’t a deal-breaker.
For example, space for car seats, sports equipment and camping gear are something you need while leather seats or a fancy trim aren’t necessary.
However, be flexible. It’s not unusual to get more than you ask for when equipment is packaged together. A moonroof might be included in a package with leather seats and a satellite radio, but discounted when combined in a package so it’s essentially free.
Always Look For Incentives
The biggest discounts are served up by the car makers, not the car dealers. Several websites list monthly incentives from each manufacturer which can save you thousands.
Incentives however, can vary drastically among trim levels and whether you buy or lease. So be sure to read the fine print to understand if the vehicle with the deepest discounts has the equipment you want and is available for your type of financing.
At Deliver My Ride we automatically pull in all available incentives that you’re eligible for to ensure you can take advantage of all deals available and see the real cost before you purchase your new car.
Want to get the latest deals and incentives delivered directly to your inbox? Join our Insider’s Deal list.
Calculate the Real Cost of Owning The listed price of a new car is quite different from the price it will cost you to own the car. You must take into consideration interest, depreciation, auto insurance, taxes, fees, gas, maintenance and repair costs over a certain amount of years to get the real value to own the car.
Buying a new car with cash isn’t an option for everyone, but interest rates combined with depreciation values can significantly increase the lifetime value of owning your car.
If you can’t pay for your new car in cash, get pre-approved for a car loan so you can compare the dealers’ interest rates with other auto loan options. In fact, dealers work with local finance sources like Wells Fargo, Chase, local credit unions and captive sources (Ford Motor Credit, Toyota Credit, GMAC, i.e.), and all rates are publicly available. If you don’t have tier 1 credit however, your rate will likely be higher.
Be sure to educate yourself on local tax ramifications for leasing in your zip code because payments can vary substantially from county to county.
When buying a vehicle through Deliver My Ride, you can easily compare all of your financing options with all local, state and dealer fees included.
Buying a new car doesn’t have to take up a large portion of your budget. With these tips, you can afford the new car you need without it setting you back.