While plenty of people may be going online for their car shopping, there's nothing quite like the in-person car-buying experience. Browsing the lot and seeing your options can make finding the right car for you much easier, and there's certainly no replacement for a traditional test drive. Unfortunately, there's a good chance you're not getting the most out of your dealership experience. If you're used to blindly walking into car dealerships and hoping for the best, there's a good chance you're making one of these three critical car-buying mistakes.
1. Keeping Too Many Options Open
It's good to have multiple options and a fallback plan if you can't afford or find your first choice, but you shouldn't leave the entire field wide open. When you step onto a dealership lot, you should always have a reasonable idea of what you want. Are you looking to purchase a large crossover SUV, a pickup truck, or a compact sedan? Do you care more about fuel economy or performance? Even if you're not a gearhead, do your best to understand the things you need and want. If you're too aimless when you start talking with a salesperson, you may find that you have a frustrating experience that leads you around in circles. The more specific you can be, the more likely you'll spend your time looking at cars that suit your lifestyle.
2. Not Knowing Your Finances
Buying your new car starts the moment you begin talking to a salesperson. While you'll typically arrange the details in the financing office, your salesperson will do their best to direct you to cars that are within your budget. Just as entering the dealership without a plan can lead to a lot of aimless browsing, not understanding your finances can cause you to waste time on unaffordable options. You don't need to provide your salesperson with a detailed credit history or an exact payment for your monthly budget, but make sure you understand your financial position. If the salesperson asks you general questions about what you can afford or want to pay, you should be ready with reasonable answers so they can show you the best options for you on their lot.
3. Not Planning Enough Time
Buying a car is a time-consuming process. While car salespeople would like nothing better than to find you a car and make a sale in twenty minutes, you'll often spend far more time at the dealership between browsing, test driving, negotiating, and working out financial details. There's no set amount of time that a car deal takes, but you shouldn't plan to make it in and out of a dealership in a few minutes. Unfortunately, these expectations can often lead to frustration and disappointment. If you make sure that you set aside several hours for your dealership visit, you'll be able to enjoy a more relaxed experience that doesn't feel rushed. Your salesperson will also feel less pressed for time, allowing them to more effectively help you find the best car for your needs and budget.
For more information, visit your local car dealership.