AutoTrader Offers Auto Shopping Tips to Consumers

PR Newswire

As the year begins to wind down, more con­sumers think in terms of buy­ing a new car, but AutoTrader.com experts warn of 7 pit­falls to stay away from.

Deal­ers should be aware of this advice being offered to car shop­pers.

“Buy­ing a car is some­thing peo­ple usu­al­ly only do at most every few years, so nat­u­ral­ly the right way to go about it isn’t always top of mind,” said Bri­an Moody, AutoTrader.com site edi­tor.  “But a mis­step dur­ing the shop­ping process could turn a great deal into a mon­ey pit in the long run.”

The AutoTrader.com edi­tors have iden­ti­fied sev­en of the most com­mon mis­takes peo­ple make when shop­ping for a car – and how to avoid them:

1. Nego­ti­at­ing the price based on month­ly pay­ment
“This is one of the most com­mon and expen­sive mis­takes peo­ple make,” Moody says. “It may seem more afford­able to stretch out your pay­ments over a longer term to give you that low­er month­ly pay­ment, but in the end you’re pay­ing much more. Nego­ti­ate total price first. If the pay­ment is too high, then you’re get­ting a sign that the car is out­side your bud­get.”

2. Not get­ting a mechan­i­cal inspec­tion
When shop­ping for a used car, an inspec­tion is impor­tant. “Just because a car sounds and runs fine dur­ing the test dri­ve, doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly mean every­thing is in top work­ing order,” Moody says. “Cars are com­plex machines, and noth­ing is worse than an expen­sive repair short­ly after you dri­ve the vehi­cle home.”

3. Buy­ing things you don’t need
The experts say this goes back to a key tenet in car shop­ping: make a list of wants and needs before ever set­ting foot in a deal­er­ship and stick to it. Fac­to­ry and deal­er-installed options add up quick­ly.

4. Not run­ning a vehi­cle his­to­ry report
While not a replace­ment for a mechan­i­cal inspec­tion, AutoTrader.com edi­tors say his­to­ry reports are a quick, usu­al­ly fair­ly low-cost way to get a sense of if a car is what a sell­er says it is.

5. Not tak­ing a thor­ough test dri­ve
AutoTrader.com experts say test dri­ves should be at least 45 min­utes on a vari­ety of roads and dri­ving con­di­tions. Also shop­pers should make sure to bring fam­i­ly mem­bers and big­ger per­son­al items (strollers, golf clubs, etc.) to make sure the car fits their lifestyle.

6. Falling in love with the car before you buy it
“While we know peo­ple have emo­tion­al attach­ments to cars, it’s impor­tant to stay focused on the fact that this is a major pur­chase,” Moody says. “Play it cool until the deal is done.”

7. Not shop­ping around
AutoTrader.com edi­tors rec­om­mend test dri­ving as many of the com­pet­i­tive vehi­cles as pos­si­ble, then nar­row the selec­tion and vis­it sev­er­al dif­fer­ent deal­er­ships. “This will give you peace of mind that you’ve found the right car for you at the best pos­si­ble price,” Moody said.

 

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