If you’re fortunate enough to end up with a big tax refund this year
one thing you might want to consider using it for is the purchase of a new car. While it’s true that if you’ve bought a late model car in recent years you can save money by continuing to drive it for as long as it remains in good working order, new cars have a lot to offer in terms of resale value, up to date technological advances and safety features, and reliability. Buying a new car can be a daunting process, especially if you haven’t done so in a long time. The best way to rise above the hassle of pushy sales people, confusing financing deals, and an overwhelming variety of choice in makes and models is to research your purchase thoroughly beforehand and make a plan of action that you can follow to achieve the goal of driving off the dealer’s lot in a car that you wanted, bought for a fair and reasonable price.
Online car buying websites can be a great resource to start with. You can start narrowing down the list of cars you’re interested in, making determinations based on your needs, the size of your family, and what you need the vehicle to be able to do. If you have a construction or landscaping business, you probably need a good-sized truck; if you have a growing family, you probably want a safe and roomy vehicle; if you’re on your own maybe you can get away with buying the sleek, sporty car you’ve always dreamed of. These websites can direct you to local dealerships, inform you with professional and amateur car reviews, and help you determine a fair price for the car you want to get.
Another very helpful thing you can do for yourself is get financing beforehand, from a bank or lending institution that you choose. This way you can take the time to select a loan with the terms and interest rate you want, and won’t be pigeonholed into accepting a less than ideal loan under the dealership’s terms. With a loan already in hand, you can take your money to the dealership of your choice and negotiate from a position of strength and flexibility.
Make sure you visit more than one dealership in order to ensure you’re getting the best possible price for the car you want. You may also be able to play one dealership against the other to bargain the price down. This is the part of car buying that many people shy away from, but if you approach it with knowledge and confidence you can save money by being willing to play hardball and walk away from the table if you aren’t satisfied.
Car buying takes time, thought, and effort, but it doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Just do your research and have some confidence in your ability to negotiate, and you can end up with the car you want for a great price you’ll be happy with.