Buying a car on impulse can get you into trouble!
A car is not an impulse item. Don’t go into a dealership clueless as to what you want or how much you can afford. Always prepare for a car purchase long before you set foot in a dealer’s showroom. If you want any hope of driving away in a new automobile with a reasonably good deal and some money left in your pocket, there are a few things you should know before you sign on the dotted line.
First and foremost, know the make and model of the vehicle you want. Better yet, have at least three different cars in mind. As with most purchasing decisions, it’s generally in your best interest to have options. Having the flexibility to choose an alternative will help prevent you from making an impulse buy and spending more money than you intended. Remember, it is the salesperson’s job to get you to spend as much as possible!
It is also a smart idea to get a copy of your credit report and credit score from one of the “Big Three” credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax. By having your credit history in hand when you visit a dealership, you will be protecting yourself from a dishonest dealer who tries to sell you an automobile with a higher interest rate under the pretense that your credit score “is not good enough” for a lower rate.
Finally, it is always a good idea to establish a budget for your new car or used car purchase. Establishing limits on how much you are willing to spend on a new vehicle will help keep you from getting sucked into buying a more expensive car than you intended. So, in addition to loan payments, you should factor in insurance costs, routine maintenance expenses, and other miscellaneous expenditures that could arise. Being aware of what you are getting into greatly reduces the risk of being exploited by crafty sales agents when purchasing a new or used automobile.
Don’t be an impulse car buyer. Know what you want and how much you can afford. By simply being prepared before you purchase a new car, you can come away from a dealership with a reasonable deal and, most important, money left in your pocket.
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