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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.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.