Checklist to Prevent any Mistakes while Buying a Car

Buying a car can easily put a sizeable dent on your bank account. It is an expensive investment and the same fact makes it even more important for you to choose the right vehicle and the right deal. Deciding in buying the right car can prove to be overwhelming for car buyers who are swarmed with options in the market. However, with a streamlined, fuss-free approach, that worry can easily be prevented.  

The process of buying a car can be broadly classified into two categories i.e. research and buying. However, dividing these two steps into smaller, much easier, and doable actions can instantly turn the process into a much more informative and simpler plan.  

Checklist for Car Buyers 

Mentioned below are steps that car buyers should follow when making the big purchase. Treat it as a checklist to get the best deals in your budget.  

  • Research: Buying a car is not like walking into a supermarket and picking what you fancy. It is imperative to spend at least a few hours researching the options available in the market and the technological advancements to figure out what you want.
  • Features: Make a list of the features you want in your car. From the car engine to the colour, be specific about your requirements as it will help you in case you are tied down between two models. If you are unsure about the features, think of where the car will be used i.e. outdoor travels or commuting to work, you can choose the specifications you want accordingly 
  • Total budget: After deciding on the features, arrive at a budget. While calculating the budget, don’t forget to include the following factors: 
  • Modifications: The cost of the car is inclusive of any extras and modifications. Make sure to buy the ones you need. 
  • Registration fee: You have to pay a fee to register a new car. In the case of old cars, a fee has to be paid to transfer the ownership.  
  • MaintenanceMaintaining and repairing are usually a major expense for car owners. Make sure you factor that in your budget.
  • New or second-hand car: After factoring in the features you want and the budget you have, you can figure out whether a new car works best for you or a used one. At times, you might find better deals while buying a used car.
  • Window shopping: Check for car prices online or visit dealerships to explore your options. Window shopping in this scenario will help you finalize the car models that suit your requirements the best. Talk to dealers and research about the latest innovations in car technology to get a better understanding of the vehicle you are buying.
  • Pricing: Different dealerships offer different discounts. Explore your options and check the market price. Negotiate the discount offers to get the best deals. In the case of used cars, check the market price of the vehicle and set that as the baseline while negotiating with sellers.
  • FinancingIf you need financing, apply for a car loan before going to the dealership. Even though car dealerships provide financing, applying for a loan beforehand will give you an option to choose a better interest rate. If the dealership offers a lower interest, you can choose to finance your car through them. In case the dealership provides a higher rate, you will have your pre-approved auto loan to rely on. 
  • InsuranceAfter you have finalized the car you want to buy, consider locking in on a car insurance policy. With the price tag that cars come with, it is essential to invest in an insurance policy. Go through different insurers and different deals to find the one that fits your needs. Add necessary riders if required. Also, make sure to pick an insurer with a good network of service stations and garages as it will help you maintain your car without any hassles.  
  • Purchasing: Though the date of purchase might seem irrelevant, companies often give discounts during certain months in the year. It is usually during the festive season. Keep a lookout for such offers as this may save you a lot of money.  
  • Dealership: If you are buying from a dealership, don’t settle for the first one you walk in to. Visiting at least three dealerships will give you a good roster of options to choose from in terms of price and offers.  

Conclusion:  

Investing time in research is imperative while buying a car. It will help you zoom in on the features you want in your car and in turn streamline the process. Make sure to explore different deals in the market and compare them before settling for one. Additionally, going through the steps mentioned above will make your car-buying experience a hassle-free process. 

Posted by Naisha Patel

I am an financial adviser and writer.

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