If you’re in the process of buying a car, you know that you’ll be making a big investment into something that you’ll be using for years to come. Just because you’re making a big investment doesn’t mean that you have to sink all of your savings into a new to you car. In this article, you’ll find some tips for saving money while you’re in the process of buying your new car.

1. Look For Customer Service

If you go to a car dealership and no one wants to wait on you or give you the time of day, no matter how good their online advertised pricing is, it’s probably better to bring your business elsewhere. If the car dealer does not care about your business, they probably won’t care about making sure that you’re happy with your car. They may also be less receptive to your requests and less forthcoming about any deals or offers they have. There’s a reason that 54% of people buying cars prefer a good experience over a lower price. In addition, having a relationship with your car dealer means that if you have any issues you won’t hesitate to go talk with them.

2. Do Your Research

Make sure that before you ever step foot in a car dealership you do as much research as possible. If you have your eye on a specific make or model of a car, do all the research you can into the current market value and possible issues that the car may have. 60% of the car buying process happens online, and research is a large part of that. If you have done enough research before you get to the dealership on what exact kind of car you want and any potential upgrades that you do or don’t want, you’ll have an easier time holding your ground against any upselling.

3. Don’t Be Afraid of Negotiation

Another plus of having a dealership with good customer service is that you may feel more comfortable negotiating a good price. Since you’ll have already done all the necessary research before you go into the dealership, you’ll have a solid ground to stand on when it comes to negotiating. Although you should stand your ground when you’re negotiating, keep in mind that your car salesperson is, in fact, a person as well. This means it’s important to be kind and make sure to only ask for what’s reasonable. If you’re trying to negotiate for half of what the car you want is worth, that’s not really respectful of your salesperson’s time or effort because you both know it’s unrealistic.

4. Think of How You’ll Use Your Car

How do you usually use your car? How many miles do you usually drive in the average week or month? How many seats do you need? How much storage space do you need? These are all important questions to ask before you choose the kind of car that you want. For example, if you’re a camping enthusiast and you’re part of the 50% of people who camp less than 100 miles from home, you’ll likely need a good amount of storage space and a car that can handle a little bit of rough terrain on the way to campsites. If you have a family with three kids, you’ll most likely want a spacious back seat or a third row of seating. Make sure to take into account all of your needs when you’re narrowing your search.

5. Choose Used

If you’re looking to save money on a car, choosing a used model will probably be the best course of action. Make sure that you are getting the best deal based on any wear and tear to the car as well as the mileage that has been put on it.

6. Trade In Your Old Car

If you’re upgrading from an old car to a new car, you should make sure that you’re trading in your old car. You may get an additional discount on top of getting a discount at the same value as your car. Check online to see what the policies are for the dealership you’re using to buy your new to you car.

7. Read the Fine Print

When you’re buying your car, make sure that you look at everything in detail before signing it. A car loan is a big commitment, so make sure that you’re not agreeing to anything that you don’t actually want, such as a penalty or fine if you pay off your car too quickly.

8. Create a Budget and Stick To It

Budgeting is one of the best ways to make sure that you’re staying on track when it comes to finances. Creating a budget not only for what you can pay upfront but also for what you can afford in a monthly payment. When you are negotiating with your dealer, make sure that you know exactly what your limits are to ensure that you stay within your budget for the foreseeable future.

9. Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection

Before you buy your car, you should make that you get an inspection from someone not associated with the dealership. Although in a perfect world the dealership would be completely forthcoming about any issues with the car, realistically that won’t happen. To avoid buying a lemon, make sure that you’re getting a pre-purchase inspection from a mechanic that you trust.

In addition to knowing that the car is not going to stop working in a few months, you can also ask your mechanic about any upgrades that you want to make to the car, like a ceramic coating or tinted windows. Dealerships may offer these upgrades, but often they will overcharge for them, so going to your mechanic for them instead usually results in a much better deal.

10. Pay in Cash If You Can

If it’s within your budget, pay for your entire car upfront. This way you avoid any interest that comes along with car payments. If you can’t pay for your entire car in cash, which will most likely be the case, you should put down as much cash as you can and check your possible finance options from there.

Buying a new car does not mean that you have to break the bank, so make sure that you’re getting the best deal you possibly can by using these tips.

What has helped you in the car buying process? What tips do you wish you’d have when you bought your last car? Let us know in the comments!

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