What NOT to do When Buying a Car

Whether it’s your first time buying a car or not, here’s a list of the things you should avoid before buying a car.

Don’t Spend More than you Have

Being able to budget well is a really important skill to possess – especially when it comes to keeping your own financial situation in check. Buying a car is a big investment. You can’t just cross your fingers and hope you’ll be able to make your payments each month.

Come up with a reasonable budget and stick to it. No matter how tempting it might be to buy a fancy car that you know you can’t actually afford, don’t let yourself be swayed; it won’t matter how expensive your car is when you’re trying to choose between paying your mortgage or buying groceries because you don’t have enough money for both.

It’s important also to make your decision based on the overall price of the car and not on the monthly payments. Just because the dealer says he can get you a lower monthly payment doesn’t mean the actual price of the car decreases. It just means you’re stuck paying for it for a longer period of time.

Don’t Choose Your Car Based on How ‘Cool’ It Is

Buying something solely because it’s trendy is okay when you’re looking for a new cellphone, but a car is a much bigger investment. If you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on a car, you should be thinking about how practical it is and the positive ways in which it will enhance your life in the long term. Trendiness means nothing if your car can’t easily and comfortably get you from point A to point B.

Don’t Go in with a Closed Mind

It’s always good to do your research before you walk onto the lot, but don’t go into the dealership with your heart completely set on one specific car. Be open minded and try other models out. You might be surprised to find that the car you’ve had your eyes doesn’t quite feel right when go for a test drive. By keeping an open mind, you’re able to adapt easily to the disappointment and keep looking rather than remaining hung up on that one car.

Don’t go for the Cheapest Model Available.

While the thought of buying the base model (the cheapest model you can get with the least features available) might seem compelling, it’s almost always a bad idea. It’s not worth sacrificing comfort just to save a few extra hundred dollars. 

Don’t Rely on Dealer Financing

Always try to get your car loan pre-approved through a bank or credit union before you even step foot inside a dealership. The terms of your loan are almost always more favourable if you go through a bank rather than through the dealership. Getting pre-approved also alleviates the pressure of feeling like you have to make a decision on the spot; you can walk into the dealership already knowing exactly how much money you have available and you can walk away if you’re uncertain about committing.

Don’t Buy Something that you’re Not Absolutely Sure About.

Think hard about your purchase before you make a decision. Don’t let the dealer pressure you into buying if you’re not 100% certain. And most importantly – don’t be afraid to walk away.

Have you had a bad experience buying a car in the past? Leave a comment telling us what you’d do differently this time.