Buying a car is one of the most important decisions that anyone can make at some point in their lives. Next to buying a house it is the second  biggest financial outlay for most people. Buying a car is not just about funding the purchase price but consideration should be made for the whole ownership experience and the costs associated during the life of the car.  This is why it’s important to have enough money set aside for other factors such as insurance, potential cost of maintenance and fuel before deciding to make this huge decision.

If it’s your first time buying a vehicle, frustration is one of the feelings you’re likely to experience. For many people purchasing a car is an infrequent experience and can be fraught with potential traps and pitfalls as they navigate through an unfamiliar process.  To save you of some stress – here is a car buying guide for a new car owner that will definitely come in handy.

1. Seek Professional Support

To help bypass all the car jargon you hear from sellers and ads, you can enlist the help of a professional car buying advocate. This is a boutique service available in Melbourne at My Next Car Buying Advocacy where a client advocate helps you source and narrow down your car choices based on your preferences and budget. Your advocate will have an advanced understanding of the market and what the pros and cons are of different car models and features. So, you can use this service to make sure you end up with the right car, at the right price.

2. Shop Around

It’s easy to settle for a beautiful car upon entering your first car dealership. You may think you’re saving yourself the hassle of going from dealership to dealership, but that hassle of shopping around will save you money in the long haul.

You’ll get to see what else is out there, make an informed decision and compare prices as well. You may have settled on buying a new car but a dealer demo or a previous years built car may save you thousands. A specific dealer may have a dealer demo that other potential customers have test driven and may be willing to move it on at a significantly discounted price. Go to at least three dealerships before settling for your ideal vehicle. Stocks and discounted cars can vary between dealerships with a mix  of older stock and new car models coming provide a fertile ground for potential savings specific to dealerships. If there are plenty of dealerships in your area, take advantage of them. Drop by each of them and see what they have to offer. You may end up spending less than your original budget or may be able to take advantage of a discounted car at your budget that was higher specified optioned model that you might not otherwise been able to afford.

If you are limited in your time or unsure as to what is the right car for you a car buying advocate can help by taking care of this trial and error process for you. Given their expertise in the market, it will be a lot quicker too.

2. Test Before You Buy

The outward appearance of any vehicle can be very deceiving. Before signing the necessary papers, take the car for a test drive.

While you’re on the road, take note of the car’s various features. Do they all work? How comfortable are the seats? How roomy is the vehicle? Do you have trouble getting in and out of it? We are all different, can you see properly through the car with no blind spots? Can you read the instrumentation easily? Does the car respond as expected when you push the brakes and accelerator?

Remember just because a car is popular and suits others, it may not suit you or your specific needs. It is ok to walk away from a test drive realising it did not meet your preconceived expectations. There are plenty of other cars on the market that may be a perfect fit for your specific needs. Never feel pressured to sign up and buy something your not sure about or doesn’t quite fit the bill. Time to think about the pros and cons of a car after a test drive away from the dealership helps clarify and properly evaluate your decisions in a non- pressurised environment.

If you’re purchasing a second-hand vehicle, confirm if all the parts are working properly. If your buying in the private market consider undertaking a Pre-Purchase Inspection by a reputable service provider on the car you would really like to buy. This reduces your risk of buying a car with unseen faults that may cost you dearly later on.

3. Negotiate

Even if you have the required amount of money at hand, don’t accept to pay without having a negotiation session with the salesperson. Strive to lower the amount offered to you to get a good discount. A salesperson can easily spot a potential customer who may be new to the process and they’re most likely to use your inexperience against you.

Preparation and knowledge is the key to a successful negotiation. Knowing about the price and features of your car and the market prices the cars that other similar cars are selling for. Let your fingers do the walking. Use on-line sites like Carsales, Gumtree and Cars Guide to see what cars are selling for in the dealer and private markets.

If you can’t arrive at a price that you’re both comfortable with, don’t hesitate to walk out of the dealership. Most times, the salesperson will comply to your offer when they see that you’re determined to stick to your guns. If negotiation is not one of your strong suits, this is another area a professional car buying advocate can assist you in. Once they source the right car based on your needs, they will negotiate the price to suit your budget.

4. Be Flexible

Don’t set your mind on getting a new car only. It’s possible that the price of the new vehicle you fancy is higher than the amount you’ve budgeted for. The last thing you’d want is to immerse yourself in debt.

Consider a used vehicle. Pick one that is within your range. If its condition is your prime concern, select a slightly used vehicle. The same principle applies if you’re set on buying a used car. Be open to variety no matter the type of car you originally had in mind.

5.  Try the Internet

Maybe you don’t like the idea of dealing with salespeople or moving from one dealership to another in search of your dream vehicle. The good news is, you don’t have to. There’s an easier and more effective way to purchase a vehicle: by using the internet.

An advantage of vehicle online shopping is that it’s easier to find a price that works for you. Second, it’s more convenient. You don’t have to leave your home or dress up. Plus, most dealerships sell their cars online, so you get access to them with the greatest of ease.

You Deserve the Best

Car buying isn’t as easy as it looks for new car owners. If you’re planning to buy a car for the first time, you need all the help you can get. At My Next Car Buying Advocacy, you can count on all the necessary experience and skills to help you find a vehicle that is specially tailored for you. Talk to us today for a seamless car buying experience.

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