So, you’ve decided that 2018 is the year you will finally buy a new car. You’ve got your savings, you’ve budgeted for the expense, and you’re looking into options for financing. You know what kind of vehicle you want, and you have a sense for what’s in your price range. But how can you make sure you get the best possible deal without either overpaying for costly add-ons, or buying a model that lacks the features you need?
There are more options than ever for buying a new car, and while retailers are exploring alternatives to the dealership model the overwhelming majority of people still buy through a licensed dealership. Dealerships make things easier because they specialize in offering a range of vehicles, and if you know roughly what you want, you can look at what different dealerships offer for a similar type of car.
For example, if you know you want a midsize crossover SUV and you like the Ford brand, your best option is to get a deal at your local Ford dealership — the staff can tell you if the Ford Edge might be a good option, or, depending on your particular needs, if you should go with a Ford Escape or Ford Explorer instead. They can also introduce you to options for different trims, and advise you about the particular features and add-ons that are available.
You can’t talk about getting a good deal on a new car without also considering financing, so it is best to do some research in advance to prepare yourself. Make sure you know your credit rating and what you can realistically afford. It’s not a bad idea to map out different financing options so you get a sense for how costs will play out in the medium and long term. Remember, you’ll need to factor in the eventual wear and tear on the vehicle, as well as tires and, at some point, new parts.
Having a detailed financial plan will enable you to be more confident when discussing prices, and makes it less likely you’ll commit yourself to something you can’t actually afford.
It is also important to remember that buying a new car doesn’t necessarily mean buying the latest model. Depending on your budget, you may want to look for deals on last year’s stock rather than going straight to the 2018 vehicles. Dealerships are often willing to cut deals on older stock to make room for new cars, and if you’re comfortable with something that is not quite cutting edge but is still brand new, you can save yourself a surprising amount of money.
If you find the right deal, buying a new car can be a very rewarding experience. Not only will you be getting the latest in technology and performance, you can also rest safe in the knowledge that you will be able to enjoy your new vehicle during its best years.