Buying a car is a major investment and is often the first large purchase people make as young adults. However, there are several pitfalls involved hidden the process that can lead to buyer’s remorse and an overall sense of unhappiness with the experience, and one of the most common is accepting myths as facts when it comes to researching and financing a vehicle. If you are ready to buy a car, busting these misconceptions before you shop can help you avoid disappointment and make you feel confident about the car you choose.
1. Car Color Can Affect Price
It is a common myth that red, yellow, and neon-blue vehicles are more expensive than other choices and cost most to insure because they are distracting and therefore more likely to cause accidents. This rumor likely got started because sports cars commonly come in these colors and some insurance companies charge more to cover high-performance vehicles.
If you are browsing a car lot and notice that a red model of a certain vehicle is slightly more expensive than a white one, this may be due to buyer appeal. Red cars are eye-catching, shiny, and the color is equated with speed and style. If color is important to you, take the time to browse several different local car lots and look online to compare availability, as some dealers with an overstock of one color may offer discounts on several different makes and models.
2. Price Is Priority
While the cost of a vehicle is certainly important, making the sticker price your main focus can get you in over your head before you even take the car home. Instead, it is wise to think of this price as a jumping-off point for negotiating a better deal. This can be especially important if you are buying a pre-owned vehicle, as the price for these cars is usually not as firm as those for new cars.
One way to use a sticker price effectively is to research that make, model, and year once you find a vehicle that interests you. Know the Kelley Blue Book value, the average cost at other lots, and, if possible, the history of the vehicle itself. The more you know about a car, the better the chance you can negotiate a better deal rather than simply agreeing on the sticker price.
3. Year-End Deals Yield the Best Savings
You have likely heard many car ads about how dealers have to move their existing stock to make way for the upcoming new models and that there is no better time to buy than at the end of the year. However, while sales like these can yield some good deals, it may not be the best time for you to make a purchase. Before you purchase a pre-owned vehicle during this type of promotion, you may want to consider a few factors first.
For example, before you visit the lot, check out the stock online if possible so you can browse without feeling pressured or hurried to make a choice. If the car you want is available but is missing a few accessories that it had when it was new, what kind of price reduction can you score? Are there upgrades available? What kind of warranty does the dealership offer on their used vehicles? These are all questions you might want to ask yourself before you buy at the end of the year.
4. Pay Cash, Not Credit
Paying cash for certain items can help you avoid debt, but when it comes to buying a car, it is not always the best choice. In fact, you may score a better deal by financing. You can gauge how much you qualify for by filling out an easy online auto loan application and visiting a dealer that has financing incentives to find a monthly payment that suits your budget.
Car-buying myths can make the process confusing. However, when you know the facts, you can make important choices with confidence and drive away knowing you made the best deal.