Tips to Make Car Buying Easy

Tips to Make Car Buying Easy

For many of us, purchasing a car is something we only get to do a handful of times in our lifetime. Purchasing a new car is a big commitment and the process may seem overwhelming. Your friends at FrontLane are here to give you a crash course in car buying! Whether you are a first time buyer or have been through the process before, these tips can help you through your purchase. 


Your budget will determine what kind of car you should buy. At the beginning of 2021, the average cost of a new car was $40,000 and the average cost of a used car was $20,000. While you can find better deals depending on what you are looking for, cars are a costly expense. Financial experts recommend budgeting no more than 20% of your take-home income to car related expenses. Take a look at your monthly income and expenses as you determine what you can allot to a car payment, insurance, maintenance and gasoline. 


Getting preapproved for a car loan will help you identify any issues with your credit and get the best deal. The seller is not required to give you the best rate you qualify for. For example, you may discover you qualify for an interest rate of 5% when you get preapproved at your bank. If the seller offers you a rate of 8%, you know it is a bad deal. If they offer you 4%, you know it is a good idea to take the deal. 


Knowing what you need will help you maintain control when you are dealing with car seller. If you keep your priorities in focus, they won’t be able to oversell you on heated seats or leather interior. Identify what size car and features will best meet your needs. Will this be a car to transport you to and from work? If so you may focus on getting the best gas mileage out of your vehicle. Will this be a car to transport your family to school and soccer practice? You may focus on a vehicle with enough room for carseats and additional safety features.


When you find a car that meets all of your needs, take the time to make sure it is a great fit. Drive around for half an hour paying attention to how the car handles on streets and freeways. If you are looking at a used car, make sure there are no unaddressed issues with the car that may need costly repairs. Don’t let a seller rush your test drive and leave you with regrets after buying. 


If you are buying a used car, make sure you get it inspected before you buy. Paying a small amount to have a thorough inspection could save you thousands on unexpected repairs in the long run. A standard multi-point inspection should include:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Brakes
  • Fluids (Level and condition)
  • Lights
  • Abnormal Sounds
  • Rust
  • Dents

Always be sure to ask what will be looked at and don’t be afraid to ask the mechanic to look into anything not included in the inspection. If you had any concerns during the test drive, now is the time to get them addressed. 


The total you will pay when buying a car includes more than just the purchase price. Additional fees may include: sales tax, a registration fee, tag & title fee, and a documentation or dealer fee. Make sure to keep these additional costs in mind so they do not surprise you when finalizing your purchase. 


We know there are many variables to consider when purchasing a new vehicle. Do your research, discuss your options with people you trust, and have as much fun as possible. Finding the right car for you may take time and feel like a chore, but your efforts will pay off. Enjoy the process and get excited when you finally drive off the lot with a new set of wheels!