Buying a new car can be a difficult endeavor. Trying to navigate the maze of terms and conditions, as well as choosing the perfect vehicle can be a bit intimidating. Fortunately, there are many different options available today for new buyers who are in the market for a new car. Once someone understands the different aspects of new car buying, they will have a much better chance at finding a great deal and getting a high quality automobile at a good price. Most car dealerships today have protection against defective products, as well as flexible financing for those with credit that may not be perfect. When it comes to finding and buying a new car, there are many things to consider.
Learning the Terms
Understanding what car-buying terms mean is very important. For example, no money down may sound great, but that could mean that the interest rate is a bit higher. The term cash back can be good, but it can also mean more monthly payments. Understand how many months you will need to pay before the car is paid off, and see if you can get those months reduced. While the payment might be a bit higher each month, the car will be paid off more quickly.
- Car Buying Terms – A guide to some shortcuts and terms that dealerships use to get people to buy; it’s important to understand what they mean
- Incentives – How to get the most out of the car buying incentives that many dealers offer
- Car Buying Quiz – Simple quiz to help people understand how to get the best deal
- Terms with Definitions – Another list of car buying terms, along with definitions
- Automart – Lots of terms and their meanings, including car and financing terms as well
Financing Your New Car
Perhaps the most important element of buying a car is the financing. This will determine not only how much money is paid for the car, but also how much interest is paid and how long it will take to pay the car off in its entirety. Knowing how to finance a car is extremely important; otherwise you might end up with a sour deal at the end of the day. Know your rights as a consumer, and understand the financing terms before you even get to the lot to look at new cars.
- Financing a New Car – How to finance a car: terminology and tips
- Auto Loan Rates – Compare current auto loan rates in your area
- New & Used Cars – Compare prices on new and used cars
- Auto Financing – Information on the many different types of auto loans
- Basics of Auto Loans – Some articles and information on understanding how auto loans work and which are best for you
Trading in Your Old Car
Most people will end up trading in their old car for a new one. While this can help with the down payment on the new car, many dealerships often do not give car owners their money’s worth for the old car. It is very important to know how much the old vehicle is worth, and what you should expect at trade-in. Do not be duped by savvy dealers who are looking to make an extra buck off of the old car. Make sure you get the most for your investment.
- Kelley Blue Book – The most trusted resource for determining automobiles’ values
- Trading vs. Selling – How to determine whether it will be best to sell or trade in an old car
- Methods of Sale – Different ways people can trade or sell their old car
- 10 Dealer Scams – The top 10 scams and tricks dealers use that everyone should be on the lookout for
- What to Know – Things people should know before trading in their old car
For new cars, there is usually a factory warranty included with the purchase. For used cars, the dealer may try to sell a warranty or service contract. Being aware of all the terms and what is included in the contract is very important, since they are not the same thing as a warranty. Some people get tricked into paying extra for a service contract that does not cover much when they have a problem with the car and later have to hire a car accident attorney if something goes wrong. Look for certain terms in service contracts before making a final decision, and don’t let the dealer pressure you into buying one.
- Are they worth it? – Are these service contracts really worth the price?
- This is not a warranty – Information everyone should know about service contracts versus a warranty
- Consumer’s Checkbook – Very helpful information on auto service contracts
- Pre-Owned vs. Extended Service Contract – Understanding the difference between the different types of service contracts
- BBB – Helpful information from the Better Business Bureau
Filing a Complaint
Unfortunately, people may end up with a lemon, or find out that they did not get the best deal possible. Sometimes dealerships participate in unethical practices, or there is a problem with the financing terms after someone has signed on the dotted line. No matter what the situation, as a consumer there are ways to file a complaint and ensure that the buyer is protected.
- Complaint Index – Annual statistics on consumer complaints about certain vehicles
- Complaint by Make & Model – Find a specific car make and model and all complaints associated with it
- Dealership Complaints – Some examples of specific dealership consumer complaints
- Federal Trade Commission – The place to go for consumers to file official complaints
- Complaints.com – Internet meeting place where people can come to read or post a complaint
Buying a car is an arduous affair, but being armed with knowledge will ensure that consumers get a fair price, a good car, and a workable contract they can live with. Knowing the financing terms, what cars are worth, and getting the most out of a trade in will ensure that people get a deal that will make them feel satisfied. After all, a car is our main way to get from one point to another, so knowing it is a good, solid car that is not too expensive helps people feel confident in their purchase and in their daily lives.