Purchasing a car feels like an overwhelming experience for some, especially when one is unaware of what to look out for — and what to avoid. This article lists the five common mistakes people make when buying a car and what to do to avoid them.

1) Not doing your research

Not doing your research before buying a car leaves you short-sighted. Research fosters awareness to many opportunities for better deals and vehicles which you would not have been aware of otherwise.

Though research may seem time-consuming, time is saved in the long-run. Researching online helps identify vehicles and dealerships of potential interest in the click of a button. Less time is wasted spent on your feet looking at many unsuitable vehicles before finding the few products worth serious consideration. The Internet makes it easier to compare vehicles, prices, features, and dealerships, so utilise this resource!

Not doing research may also cost you money. This is because you will be more likely to find better deals
through comparing options. You’ll also likely save money from finding the right car in less time than if you were to not research.

2) Not identifying your wants and needs

What do you want and need from a car? Something small and nippy for around town? Seven seats for a large family? Something suitable for off-road? Or cupholders for the drive-thru?

Not identifying your wants and needs early on hinders and often extends the buying process. This is because you’ll be spending more time looking at many cars aimlessly. How can you find a car that meets your wants and needs when don’t you know what they are? Thus identifying your personal circumstances narrows down the vehicles you are to inquire about and saves time.

You will also be less prone to impulse-buys because you’ll be thinking with your objectives in mind as opposed to being persuaded by the suave salesperson! Ultimately, knowing what your wants and needs are will likely leave you less dissatisfied with your purchase because the vehicle will be more in-keeping with what best fits your circumstances.

3) Not focusing on the best value but the cheapest price instead

Though your budget is important, sometimes it is worth spending a little more to receive much, much more.

Consider whether you’re putting too much emphasis on the price and not enough consideration on the car itself. Though you may initially feel happy about spending less, your mind may change later when you realise you’re not that happy with the car. Imagine waking up every day and driving a car that only sold you on being a few hundred dollars cheaper than the car you actually wanted.

Furthermore, fixating too much on the price tag may blind us as to the main focus of whether we like the actual car.

4) Not considering advice from a trusted source

BEWARE! Everyone believes they’re an “expert” when it comes to cars.

Treat people’s advice cautiously, especially when their experience with cars is limited to reading Buying a Car for Dummies or knowing their Suzuki Swift from back to front. So when it comes to advice, take it from a trusted source.

A trusted source may be someone with a long experience with the car industry or reviews from credible automotive journalists. Another source to keep in mind are customer reviews. BUT, please consider these reviews with a grain of salt and recognise that people come from different perspectives and within a context unknown to you.

5) Not carefully considering the dealership you buy from

Most people see purchasing a car as merely an exchange of currency for goods, but it is much more than that. Purchasing a car establishes a relationship between the dealer and the customer. This is why it is important to carefully consider where you buy from.

Aside from the immediate considerations of price and quality of the vehicles, consider the trustworthiness and reliability of the dealership. Think about how you feel when you walk onto the yard. How do the salespeople treat you? The relationship you have with the dealer is a major determinant in how satisfied you fell when you purchase the car. Buying a car can be overwhelming, so dealing with a salesperson who is considerate, reliable, and trustworthy can make all the difference in how you feel once you drive away!

Also consider that you are able to look at dealerships not within your area or online-based. If you are prepared to travel distances to look at cars or to just purchase online, it is definitely worth looking into these opportunities…

Thank you for reading this article. Take these points into account and your car-buying experience is sure to be less overwhelming and more positive!