6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Car

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Car

This year will soon be drawing to a close, which means that there’s not much time left to take advantage of the 2019 Auto Loan Promotion from GBTI. With this great offer from Guyana’s first and only indigenous bank, you’ll benefit from rates as low as 6.99 percent, down payments as low as 15 percent, quick approvals, and numerous other perks.

If you’re thinking about using GBTI’s 2019 Auto Loan Promotion to purchase a new car, read on for a look at six common mistakes you need to avoid when shopping for and buying your vehicle.

1. Not doing your research

Spending plenty of time doing your homework and investigating your options is an essential first step in buying a new car. Fortunately, with nothing more than an Internet connection, you can find out almost anything you want to know about almost any vehicle, including feature data, pricing, safety and reliability ratings, and owner reviews.

Yes, this can be a time-consuming step and it may feel overwhelming, but doing careful research will help you to identify the vehicles that will suit you best. It will also save you from the risky possibility that you’ll end up buying a car based on emotion or “gut feeling” (never a great move when so much money is at stake).

red car

2. Visiting dealerships before confirming financing

Before you set foot in any dealership, there’s an important thing you need to do first: confirm your financing. Don’t forget that car dealers get a cut of any auto loan or financing package that they get buyers to accept—in fact, this is how dealerships today make a significant portion of their revenue. This means that they’re most likely to offer you loans that will make them the most money, not necessarily the loans best for your situation.

Visiting a financial institution like GBTI to organize a pre-approved financing offer before you go to check out any dealerships will help you to make sure you don’t go beyond what you can afford—and it will put you in a better bargaining position.

3. Forgetting about other costs of ownership

When you’re thinking about which car you can afford, it’s normal to find yourself focusing on the vehicle price itself—after all, it’s usually a significant figure and it’s where most of your money is going to go.

However, it’s essential not to overlook the other costs associated with owning a car, such as auto insurance, fuel costs (you can investigate vehicles’ fuel consumption rates as part of your initial research), and regular maintenance. These costs don’t have the same big upfront price tag as the car’s sticker price, but they definitely add up over a lifetime of vehicle ownership, so you’ll need to factor them into your budget.

4. Not shopping around

When you’ve decided which vehicle(s) you want to look at, make sure you go beyond your local dealership. Not only will different dealers have different options available when it comes to things like vehicle models and add-ons, but some dealerships actually price their vehicles differently depending on where they’re located. Furthermore, walking out of a dealership saying you need to “look at other options” is a smart buyer’s move, as it usually motivates the dealer to offer you a better price.

driving

5. Skipping the test drive

Believe it or not, a recent US study revealed that nearly one in five Americans (16 percent) have purchased a vehicle without first taking it for a test drive. This seems incredible given how important the test drive is to the overall car-buying process.

The test drive is your main opportunity to get a feel for the vehicle you’re considering, to see how well it handles, how comfortable you are in it, and whether it measures up to your needs and expectations. Remember that online research can only take you so far. For some things, there’s no substitute for an in-person experience, especially given how much money you’re planning to spend—and you don’t want any new surprises from your new car after you’ve bought it. Take the test drive, and take your time—at least 30 to 60 minutes for each vehicle.

6. Not preparing to negotiate

Don’t assume that the sticker price is the price you’ll end up paying. There are often extensive negotiations involved in the purchase of a new car, and there’s a better chance that this bargaining will go your way if you’re prepared for it. When you sit down to talk money with the dealer, remember some important negotiating tips, such as making sure that manufacturer incentives are already discounted from the price; identifying the additional fees, such as the dealership’s administration fee (which are not required and could be open to negotiation); and knowing which add-ons you do and don’t want so that these extras don’t creep into the bargaining session and push up the price.