Being on the right side of the road:  Tips on how to buy a car

Your vehicle is one of the most important purchases you will do in your life, but it doesn’t have to be daunting.  Here are some tips that not only help make the process quicker and stress-free, but can also save you a few bucks.
 Know your vehicle needs.   Not sure what car you want yet? First your have to determine why you need a car and what are you going to use it for.  Weighing factors like low mileage and high fuel efficiency over style, brand and model features will help you decide the car you want to buy.
• Determine your budget.  Get approved for a car loan.  Ask around about financing and go over your monthly expenditures and income.  These will be important so you know the maximum amount of money you can spend on a car.
• Go “window” shopping.”  Do your research — go online, get a Kelley Blue Book, or test drive cars at dealerships to be able to get a “feel” of different models, makes, and years of cars.  This will not only help you learn about the specific car you are eyeing, but can also change your mind about other car brands.
• Search through car listings online.  Whether you are looking to buy a new vehicle or a used one, the Internet is there for you to take advantage of.  Look through car listings on websites to compare prices and features, like warranties, vehicle histories, condition, and mileage.
• Don’t purchase the add-ons.  Buying a new car is a major purchase, and you may be paying it off over the next several years. If you finance the car, the overall costs for accessories will skyrocket, so keep the add-ons to a minimum. You don’t really need heated seats, and you can buy a portable GPS navigation unit online for much less than expensive built-in systems.  Rustproofing is another add-on you don’t need despite what the salesperson might tell you. VIN etching, a rear camera, and a dealership maintenance plan are more add-ons that you don’t really need.
• Negotiate.  While most people perceive negotiating for a new car as an extremely difficult experience, if you look at it purely from a negotiator’s perspective, you find something quite surprising. Negotiating for a new car is actually simpler than almost any other negotiation that you will ever undertake.  You will be able to get the best deals on price, features and warranties since you’ve done your research.
• Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Whether you are buying the traditional way or online, always make sure that you understand every aspect of the process.  This way, you won’t get stuck with a vehicle that you don’t want. (AJPress)

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