The process of going on the hunt for a new car can be a little overwhelming at times, which can leave room for many preventable errors. While learning from mistakes can lead us in the right direction, hearing from others’ experiences can help us gain insight without experiencing the errors for ourselves. Thankfully, Lincoln Heights Ford is here with 7 mistakes to avoid when you’re searching for your next set of wheels!
Focusing on Monthly Payments
It can be easy to prioritize the monthly payments of the vehicles you’re considering. However, this can be a slippery slope, because there’s much more involved in those payments than you might think.
You’ll want to read up on the financing and leasing terms you would be signing off on, but you also have to consider the loan itself, its interest rate, and the loan’s term. You should also prioritize a) the vehicle’s actual price, and b) the total balance you will be paying in full. This will help you better shape your budget and stay in your comfort zone.
Narrowing down your options is good practice, but being determined to only shop for one make and model can drastically minimize your opportunities. It’s important to keep your tastes and aesthetics in mind, but in terms of logistics, it isn’t the top priority.
This is where it’s important for you to weigh out your wants and needs and conduct research on the potential models you’re considering. It’s fine to have deal-breakers as long as they’re within reason, but keeping an open mind can multiply your options. At Lincoln Heights Ford, our inventory is full of vehicles for you to review and test drive!
This may be one of the most critical parts of buying a car. You can read all about a car on paper or scroll through hundreds of reviews from buyers, but nothing will beat the authenticity of driving the car and seeing how it feels to you. It’s hard not to get caught up in the whirlwind process of purchasing a car, but this is a key factor to remember.
Many test drives can be very short and simple routes, but to get a more informed idea of how the car would operate daily, create a list of key notes to review of how the car operates and responds to you.
Not Having a Mechanic Look at the Car
If you’re going for a used car, it is essential to have a trusted mechanic do a once-over to confirm the car’s true condition. Even if a vehicle seems to be in good condition, you never know what’s going on internally, so it’s always beneficial to get a second opinion.
Many auto shops offer diagnostic work for vehicles, and normally it doesn’t cost over $100 (call in advance just to be sure). It’s relatively quick and painless, and in the end it could save you from the risk that something not previously mentioned is found. We’re proud that our used inventory at Lincoln Heights Ford includes CarFax auto history reports to help get that process started!
Procrastinating on Setting Up Insurance
Buying a brand-new car can be so exhilarating, but you need to remember one of the responsibilities that comes with that: setting up a new insurance policy for the vehicle. Calling your agent and having questions prepared can help save you time. Some helpful questions to ask: I’m looking at an X year model; do you think that would raise my insurance? Will I need a gap in my coverage? You’ll be thanking yourself for taking care of this beforehand instead of at the dealership.
Failing to Read the Fine Print
By this point in the process, being exhausted and wanting to get to the end is only natural. It is critical to remember, though, that the forms you sign in the dealership are legally binding contracts. It’s important to know what you’re signing your name on.
Take your time, slow down, and read the contracts and agreements you’re signing in order to better understand the stipulations and terms. Make sure to also keep an eye out for different warranty coverages and similar points as well. These could be extra add-ons that could actually benefit you in the long run.
Cracking Under Pressure
All too often when you go to the dealership, you’ll hear about the most amazing deal ever that’s only available on that particular day. While it can be helpful to take advantage of different concessions and discounts, buying a car is not a hasty decision. It should be contemplated in every way possible. Thankfully, car sales professionals have abandoned that type of aggressive advertisement over the years and now have a much more professional and friendlier demeanor.
Find Your Next Ride at Lincoln Heights Ford!
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things to avoid when car shopping, but it’s still a great start. Thankfully, our team here at Lincoln Heights Ford is here to help you find the perfect set of wheels for you. Give us a call or stop by today to speak with our friendly staff!