6 Common Car-Buying Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Most car buying decisions come down to 2 factors…the buyer’s vehicle priorities and financing. There are 6 common mistakes people make while reviewing financing or the car itself. To avoid succumbing to the pitfalls of the car buying experience, the tips shown below can advise any new buyer on the correct decision to make for their needs.

1- Not Thinking About the Needs

When reviewing the best car make and model for one’s lifestyle there are 4 mistakes one should avoid. The first mistake is simply buying the wrong car. For example, in a household of 4, with two young adults, choosing a sedan might be more affordable than a minivan. However, for a family of 6, with two children under the age of 11, a minivan may be the best option. Knowing the accommodations a family needs, before walking onto a dealership floor, can expedite the buying process.

2- Not Test Driving the Vehicle

Another common mistake drivers make, when considering a new car, is not thoroughly test driving the vehicle. A sedan handles differently from a truck or SUV. A car, which rides lower to the ground, may have less visibility than a truck with a high seat height. Not being able to fit a car in one driveway or garage could be a deal-breaker for any new or used car.

3- Failing to Do Proper Reserach

After the car has been test-driven, it is wise to research the model further. Manufacturers often do recalls on post-production cars for various failures. A common mistake is not thoroughly reviewing any ongoing investigations which could put one’s family or oneself at risk. While recalls might not be an issue for newer cars if purchased from the original manufacturer, a used car dealer may have plausible deniability about any safety issues.

4- Agreeing to All the Add-Ons

Oftentimes buyers might see the sticker price of a new or used car at a dealership and realize their budget might allow additional features. While add-ons and extra options can greatly improve the driving experience, it is often a good idea to consider the necessity of each item. Sometimes a buyer’s savings can be spent on aftermarket or third-party parts. There are many occasions where the modern smartphone can supplement the features of current car models.

5- Not Considering the Full Lease Cost

After it’s determined the make, model, and additional features of one’s dream car, the next step is considering if now is the best time to buy. Some buyers mistakenly forget to take the time to research the release cycle of evolutionary redesigns versus iterative updates, which can prevent the buyer from buying a model that quickly becomes out of date. While new car buyers could consider leasing, a frequent mistake is not considering the cumulative cost. Depending on one’s contract, at the end of a lease, car buyers may not have any credit towards actually owning the vehicle they’ve been driving.

6- Forgetting to Trade In the Old Vehicle

Buyers should not make the mistake of forgetting to set a budget or exceeding their current means. A common mistake buyers make is not reviewing whether it makes sense to trade in their vehicle. Sometimes it’s wiser to keep their current car or simply sell their current car to a third party company first; then consider buying a new car from the dealership.