Car shopping can be an absolute pain if not done right. From the haggling salesman to forgetting something you should have thought of before buying a car. It can be a nightmare. Here are some simple tips to make sure your car shopping experience is smooth going this summer:
Visit Car Lots On Weekday Afternoons
Most people are off on weekends, meaning car lots are jam packed during that time. If you can swing it visit a car lot on a weekday afternoon. It's a great time to get more personalized attention and get important questions answered.
Do As Much Of The Paperwork At Home
Typically, you can be in and out of a dealership in less than an hour if you are smart and do most of the work at home. Thanks to websites like Capital One® Auto Navigator® car buying can finally be simple and transparent. I know you will be SO sad to skip all the fun haggling and chasing the kids around a car lot.
To start off, you can browse over 3 million cars available at over 12,00o participating dealerships. This means you can get dealer ratings, car reviews and even access car history reports to make a truly informed decision. Simply set filters to narrow down their selection to find the perfect car for your family.
Then, this website allows you to pre-qualify for auto financing before visiting a participating dealer. Once pre-qualified, you can see your financing terms including your personalized APR, monthly payment, and more. All without ever affecting your credit score! If you don't like the payment you see, you can simply tweak your offer until you do. It's super easy to do.
All of this can be done by simply visiting Capital One® Auto Navigator® website and filling out an application. You'll know within a matter of minutes if you are prequalified or not. Also, many salesmen will allow you to finish other paperwork over the phone or through emails as well saving you more time. There's no point in being stuck in a showroom if you don't have to!
Don't Forget About Car Insurance
Once you know what kind of car you would like to purchase, check out the insurance rates on that particular vehicle before diving in. There's nothing worse than purchasing a car and finding out a few days later that you can't afford the insurance. Most dealerships won't let you return a car because the insurance is more than you expected.
Test Drives Are A Must
Even if you are doing the majority of your car shopping online, test driving a potential car is still important. Bring along other family members and make sure everyone fits in the seats. You don't want to find out later than your 6-foot son can't fit in your backseat.
Online specs can't tell you if the car you are thinking of buying can go up that steep hill to work. Many salesmen will let you take an extended test drive if needed. Just let them know your concerns and most will work with you to make sure this car can handle your needs.
Do You Have A Garage?
Do you usually park your car in a garage or a tight parking space? If so, you may want to make sure your new potential car fits in that spot as well. Just ask your salesman if you can test drive the car home and test the spot out. You don't want to find out later that it doesn't fit.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Misty - Frosted Moms (@frostedevents)
What an awesome post and I love to read about this it is so helpful for me I will keep this in my mind.
I’m glad you found this so helpful. Thanks for stopping by!
These are some great tips! I recently got myself a new car, and there was lots to consider before making a decision. I’m really pleased with my new car and I’m glad I took my time 🙂
It sounds like you were very thorough. That’s awesome and I’m glad you’re satisfied with how it turned out!
We are in the market for a new car for my daughter. This is great help!
I’m glad you found the tips helpful! Good luck on getting the new car!
This is a great list! I have to trade my car next year and cannot wait. I definitely like to do a lot of research before selecting one.
It’s always exciting when it’s time for a new car! Good luck on the trade!
Great suggestions!!!! I don’t know how people buy cars without test driving! So many do. I definitely need to drive the car first
I’m with you on that one! I definitely want to drive it first!
I don’t know what it is but car shopping stresses me out! I think it’s the amount of the purchase but the more I know the less stress I get.
Exactly! When you walk in knowing your stuff, you can be confident about your purchase!
Great tips! We just sold my husband’s car because he has a work car and we just had too much for our garage. Now we’re down to two cars and he’s already feeling like making a purchase soon!
haha! It sounds like he loves his cars! It’s always a great feeling getting a new car.
We’re not looking right now but I could see how we could find some really cool cars using these tips!
Yes! You never know when the need will arise!
Jennifer Pilgrim | Mom Skills
I actually bought a car on time without test driving it if you can believe that! It is definitely a must in my opinion now.
I can only imagine! It’s a hard lesson to learn!
Doing the research and paperwork at home is such a great tip. It saved us tons of time when we bought our last car!
I’m glad to hear you saved on time and money! It always feels good when that happens.
It’s nice to be able to test drive a car before you purchase it. I think these are all great tips especially if it’s your first time buying a car.
It can be scary when it’s your first time! I would have loved these tips for my first time.
This is really helpful! We are thinking about looking for a new car but keep putting it off! I have bookmarked for us to take a look at!
Getting a new car can be exciting and stressful all at once. Good luck!
These are great tips, especially about going during the week. Shopping for a car can be both fun and challenging, but as long as you are prepared, you can get what you want.
This is very true! If you know your stuff, you can get exactly what you want!
These are great tips. My daughter learned the hard way when she went to buy her first car. She liked the color and all, but soon realized that, when she didn’t test drive it, that it wasn’t the car of her dreams like she thought it was. It pays to research and test drive.
A first or even second car can be stressful. You often end up learning lessons you wish you didn’t have to learn the hard way.
I went during the evening in the week when I looked at my new car as I couldn’t get time off work at the same time as my other half and my dad who I wanted to take with me x
It sounds like you chose a pretty great time. How did it turn out for you?
Hahaha! Love the boy in the little Cozy Coupe! These are very helpful tips! I hadn’t thought about weekday afternoons, but that makes sense!
I’m glad you found them helpful. Yes, you learn a few things, like going in the afternoon, after a couple of times.
This is timely for us as we will be searching for a new car very soon! It can be very stressful buying a new car!
I can definitely agree with that! Good luck on your shopping!
I have been putting off getting a new car…because our old one works just fine. But, now with a large breed dog and three kids that are in car seats…it might be time to upgrade. Can’t wait to check out this tool – sounds awesome!
If you end up using it, come back and let us know how it worked for you! Wow, three kids and a dog, it sure does sound like you’re ready for a new car!
Testing out our parking spot was not something we did when we got our car and while we were lucky and that it fits it was still an uncomfortable thing to work out those first few weeks. We are going shopping again in the fall and I need to take these tips with me!
I bet you’re excited for a new car! Yeah, I learned that tip the hard way.
Car shopping is such a major time investment and commitment. You really have to do your homework before heading in, and your tips help make that process much easier.
I’m glad you found them useful! Yes, it is definitely a huge investment and worth the extra time to check into things.
These are great ideas. I wouldn’t have thought to test it out in my driveway.
It’s a tip I learned a while back and I’ve used it ever since. It’s not a common thing to think of!
All great tips! We actually just started car shopping on the weekend for some new cars so this is definitely timely for me!
Well, I’m glad it worked out time wise for you! Feel free to share your car shopping story once you find one!
Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh
The last vehicle purchased was my husbands truck in November. Luckily we had smooth sailing through the whole process, but we had done our homework beforehand.
Doing your homework beforehand is a smart idea. It always makes things much easier in the process.
We will be in the market for a car in the next few months. I think these are great and very helpful!
I’m so glad you found them helpful! Please feel free to come back and share your car purchasing experience with us!
I just purchased a car a couple of weeks ago and I can proudly say we followed all your guidelines!
That’s so good to hear! It sounds like you know your stuff!
Robin Rue (@massholemommy)
Here in Mass, our insurance just transfers to the new car. It’s all done right at the dealership, so it’s a super easy process.
Oh wow, that’s actually pretty handy!