Buying a car can be one of the most important (and stressful) experiences you can go through. Considering the importance of the investment (second only to a home), buying a vehicle is kind of a big deal. While the overall experience of buying a car can be extremely intimidating, we’ll give you the tips needed to get the most for your investment.

Getting Started

As we know, there are quite a few makes and models out there. But what’s the right one for you? Unless it’s a “play car”, you’re going to want a car that’s going to make your life easier; it should fit your lifestyle. Say you have a lot of kids, you’re going to want a lot of cargo space. If you drive a lot, you’re going to want a car with good highway mileage. The idea is to make the right choice the first time because of how important an investment a car is to the average person.

Of course, determine your price range and start your research.

Finding The Right Car For You

Once you’ve decided what kind of car you want, start narrowing it down to a few models that you think would get the job done. From there, it’s time to start comparing. Online research is going to be your best friend here, checking online reviews from a variety of sources will give you some insight on the long-term value of each model. Every car as its set of pros and cons and when you consider the stress of making this decision, you can be easily swayed by aesthetics or a quick test drive. Since you’re buying a car, you’ve got to be in it for the long haul.

New or Used?

When you get a better idea of which makes/models are right for you, it’s time to ask the next question. Should you buy new or used? Surely a new car is ideal but is also more expensive, so you have to weigh the pros and cons. As we said, while a new car may be ideal, a used car might be the right move.

Since you’re buying a car, we’re assuming you’re going to want it for the long haul. With that said, there are different levels of “used cars”. Ask yourself:

  • What’s the mileage on the car?
  • How much work has been done on it?
  • Is there a viable warranty?
  • Is there a decent resale value?

So at this point, you’ve done your research, narrowed your choice down to a few cars, and you know if you want to buy new or used. It’s time to put the pedal to the medal (not literally, you’ll get in trouble). But really, you’re going to want to test these cars out and really put thought into the car’s role in your life. The car salesperson is going to highlight a lot of the car’s features, but you want to look at it from a long-term perspective, rather than focusing on the bells and whistles that you probably won’t even use that much.

Closing The Deal

After test driving these cars, you’ve now made your choice. You know what you want, so now comes the tricky part – getting the best deal. It’s going to be clear to the salesperson that you want the car, so they’re going to leverage that, but don’t let that stop, or even intimidate you. You absolutely, 100% have to negotiate pricing because (1) this person wants to sell this car and (2) you have to gain some control. Remember, you can buy a car somewhere else so don’t forget to remind them of that. It might take time, it might be a little stressful, but you have to go back and forth to get the best deal. Once you buy the car and drive it out of the lot, the price goes down, so you don’t want to leave with any buyer’s remorse.

Protecting Your Investment

There’s no better piece of mind than protecting your investment. Invest in windshield treatment, to be proactive. Regularly change your oil, check your breaks, and keep the interior clean to ensure your vehicle retains as much value as possible. Finally, enjoy your new car! There are few things more exciting than getting used to a new car if you get the right one.