At Henry Day Ford, we recognize that purchasing a car can be an expensive undertaking whether you are buying a new or used vehicle—for most Utah residents, it is one of the largest investments they will make it their lives, second only to purchasing a home. Deciding what make and model of car to buy is never an easy decision, but these five valuable tips to help alleviate some of the stress of the buying process.
1. Determine your price range and get a loan in advance
Set your budget before you start shopping. Even if you’re not sure yet what car you’ll be buying, you can get a jumpstart on the purchasing process by exploring interest rates and getting pre-approved for a loan. The most important things to consider when examining loan options are keeping the term of the loan as short as possible, while also keeping your monthly payment flexible and affordable.
2. Decide on the best car for you and your family
Imagining yourself strolling into a dealership and leisurely checking out the their latest models is a nice thought, but it’s far better to determine the specifics of what you and your family are looking for before you ever set foot in the dealership. Are you looking for an American-made truck that will be good in the snow? The Ford F-150 is a great model. Be sure to explore other company blogs and websites as well. This way, when you do make your way to the sales lot, you’ll know you want that Ford F-150 and won’t be caught off guard or make an irrational decision based on lack of preparation.
3. Talk to people
In this age of social media, it’s easy to communicate. Make a Facebook post or reach out to your Twitter followers and tell them what kind of car you’re interested in. Chances are, some of them will already own something similar, and they can give you a specific idea of what they paid. Once you establish an average price range, you will have a better idea of what you really should be paying before you even enter the dealership.
4. Think with your head, not with your heart
Car buying can be a very psychological experience. When the salesman comes out from talking with “the Man Behind the Veil,” slaps a bouquet of roses on the desk where you’re sitting, and tells you that he’s been able to convince his boss with “extreme difficulty” to bring the price down on “the new car of your dreams,” a process happens in the brain where you often feel like you then owe that salesperson something in return. You don’t! If you’ve done your research in advance, you’ll know whether or not the price he or she has “negotiated” is really correct.
5. Don’t get starry-eyed
It’s easy to get taken in by the glamour of a new car, but if you came to buy a minivan, don’t be tempted by the newest sports car on the lot. Stick to your guns. Also, keep in mind that a lower monthly payment does not necessarily mean a lower price, but usually just means a longer term for the loan, so if the salesman’s offer seems like it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.