If you missed my previous post about my first car purchase, click this link https://my-bonny-bucketlist-2015.blogspot.com/2015/11/29-purchase-my-first-car.html to take a peak. It was a TOTAL lemon and it died on me after 3 months. I take some responsibility in the bad purchase because I trusted a liar and I did none of the following 5 things in this post. These are some of the lessons I learned the hard way...
- Check the Blue Book, for Crying Out Loud: Pricing is key. You'll have a budget when going into this, and the dealerships most likely will overcharge you. They'll want to make a profit, but they shouldn't be doing this at your expense, especially if the car is crap! Check the Blue Book estimate and decide how much more you are willing to shell out. And if they don't accept your terms, find another car or find another dealership. It's that plain. Here's the link to the site: http://www.kbb.com
- Please... Take a mechanic with you: I'm fortunate to have quite a number of mechanics in my family and in my circle. My dad, my brothers, and even one of my sisters. Even if you don't know a mechanic personally, find someone (who does not work for the company selling you the car) who will go with you to check out the car inside, outside, under the car, and especially under the hood of the car.
- A test drive is a MUST!: If the dealership won't allow a test drive, just walk away. There's no telling what could and probably would go wrong if you just take it on the highway for about 40 minutes. Trust me... You won't regret this.
- Don't Settle for the Dealerships Financing in a Hurry: Car salesmen want to lock you into a loan just as bad as they want to get you into a car (maybe a little more). They receive commission on the cars they sell, be it from the dealership they work at directly or from the car manufacturer themselves. You know your credit, so be careful if they give you an offer that seems too good to be true, because it probably is. They can give you a contract with preapproved rate that is totally dependent on your loan approval in the first place. Then, you’ll find that you can’t have that great rate because your loan was not approved. Headache, right? Heartache, too!
- Research all dealerships: If you see a car that you love at one location, chances are, you'll find it at another location. Look around at all the local places, and if the car you're looking for is not available with your budget, it's all good. On to the next one. Trust me, it's better to choose a different car altogether than to settle for something that's going to break down in the very near future.