Common Mistakes Made When Buying a New Car

Common mistakes when buying a new car - steering wheel

Photograph of the steering wheel of a 1998 Volvo V70 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Buying a new car is not easy. Along with the stress of financials comes the act of choosing what you want and what you really need. No matter the issue, a buyer should always take their time and research their options, because an auto purchase is one of the most important purchases a person will ever make in their lifetime.

Whether a veteran car buyer or a first timer, here are some mistakes that people often make when purchasing new vehicles:

1. Getting carried away with the options – Do not get caught in the spiral of compulsive buying when you look at an impressive list of options that seem all to inviting. This is the manufacturer’s back yard and chances are you’ll end up spending more than you wanted. In addition, most of these options do not add resale value because they are not “essential”. Metallic paint, air conditioning, CD radio, etc., on the other hand, are options that significantly influence the resale price. Choose options wisely.

2. Not doing enough shopping around – Americans will only look at an average of 2-3 vehicles before they make their purchase and this can leave you with a bad decision in the end. Do your homework and find the perfect car! Even if this means visiting more than one dealership.

3. Settling for what you see on the car lot – Another huge mistake that people make is the fact they settle for something when they do not find what they are looking for. Take your time and find what you want.

4. Wanting a certain color – Certain colors are hard to find on any car, and can narrow your options. Don’t miss out on a great car just because you are biased to the color. While color might seem important at first, in the long run what’s more important is that the car runs and does the job you need it to do.

5. Skipping your test drive – Never skip a chance to drive your future car. You may find that the steering isn’t what you wanted or that the car drives differently than you thought. Take the test drive and double check that the car is what you want, especially if it’s used.

6. Not choosing the right extended car warranty – Every new car comes with a standard warranty that lasts a certain number of years. If you plan on keeping your car, you might want to look into obtaining an extended car warranty that fits your needs.

With some planning and forethought, you can get a great car without suffering a nightmare. Be prepared, do your homework, and be open to what is out there when car shopping. You never know what you might find.

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