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Common Mistakes Made While Buying a Car

Malvika Kulur
Many people, while buying their first car, make mistakes, like paying more than the market value for an old car, not checking the vehicle properly, buying a model that they do not like, etc. Here are some of the most common mistakes made by people while buying cars, and steps that can be taken to avoid them.
The Biggest Mistake
Advice shopping, and not doing research about options available.

How to Avoid It?
Advice shopping means asking numerous people about which car is the best one for you. The best way to avoid it is to just ask one person his opinion, and do your research thoroughly.
Buying a car, whether brand new or used, is a big decision, especially if it's your first car. Car shopping can get very overwhelming for most people. They tend to make mistakes where selecting the model, color, price, etc., of the car is concerned.
To make things easy, here is a small list of the most common mistakes that people make, and how to avoid them.

Common Blunders Made While Buying a Car

Insufficient Research

When buying a car, one should always do his research well. Use the Internet to search for car models, their specifications, the cost, etc. Avoid consulting too many people about cars, as different people have different opinions. If you ask too many people for an opinion regarding the car you want to purchase, you might get confused with many choices.
Only ask people who really know about cars, and are not biased towards certain models. Browsing through car magazines is of great help when you are looking out for a car. Make a list of the cars that you are interested in, along with their prices, features, and engine specifications.
Familiarize yourself with all the automotive terms, so that the salesman does not use car jargon and take you for a ride, where your money is concerned. Letting the car salesman choose which car is best for you is a sign of research not done, so avoid these hassles, and do your research thoroughly.

Choosing the Wrong Car

Choosing the wrong car for your needs is one of the most common mistakes made by people while buying a car. You need to make a list of the reasons you need the car, what purpose it would serve you, the amount you are willing to spend on gas, maintenance, etc.
For example, you want to buy a car, and you have your heart set out on a snazzy sports car, but all you need to do is commute from home to work, and back. In a scenario like this, you need to do some deliberation on points like - Do I really need to spend extra on gas and maintenance on a vehicle that I am going to use only to cover short distances?
Many people end up buying the wrong car for their needs, because it is the 'in' thing, and more hep and stylish. You need to choose a car that will fit your lifestyle, last you long, is easy on your pocket and the environment, and is practical.

Making a Hasty Decision

Patience is a virtue, and in the case of buying a car, it is the only one you need. Weigh out all your options, compare car brands, prices, offers, features, etc., before zeroing in on one car.
Never get pressured or hustled by a dealer into closing the deal. Buying a car should never be an act of spontaneity, it should be a deliberated and thoroughly thought-through decision.
Many times, people who are buying their first car end up making this blunder, especially if they are buying a used car. If the person selling you the car is pressurizing you, the best option would be is to look for another car in the market.
Sometimes, you are in such a hurry to close the deal that you skip out on the test drive. Without taking a test drive of a car, you will not get to know how the car feels. You need to check the handling, smoothness in driving, braking, pickup, acceleration, comfort, etc.
Another thing that comes under making hasty decisions is not looking under the hood of the car. One should do this whenever you check out a car, specially if you are buying a used car. Buying a car without test-driving it first, and checking under the hood, is like buying a car with a blindfold on your eyes.

Poor Money Management

Money is the most important aspect to consider while buying a car. You need to set a budget, and only if you feel that the vehicle is worth paying more for, should you stretch your allocated budget.
Apart from the budget, you have to consider the invoice price and sticker price. Always negotiate on the invoice price first. Never club your negotiation together. The salesman at the dealership will always try to give you a price that is good for him, but you need to put your foot down and get the price that is best for you.
The sticker price, trade-in, and financing are different things, so always negotiate them separately. When you negotiate every price separately, you will find that you are actually paying less and saving some money.
Always remember to get the financing of your car sorted out before you start car shopping. When you are looking for a car, do not concentrate on your monthly installments, and under no circumstances show that you are desperate for one particular car, or saving on time by saying that you need a car as soon as possible.
When you do all this, the salesman will obviously try to stick you with a car that you do not need, and one that is not in your budget. Also, if you negotiate all the prices together to save out on time, the salesman will give you a rounded up figure, thus, making you pay more than what is required for your car.

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Other Mistakes

Not Looking At Many Cars

Car shopping can be an overwhelming decision. But that does not mean you do not look at different options. It is understandable that you may have your heart set out on a particular car, but looking at other cars and comparing the prices, mileage, handling, etc., won't do you any harm. On the contrary, it is beneficial if you test out other options as well.

Not Asking Questions About the Car

When you go shopping for a car, you should always ask the salesman all the queries and doubts you have about the car. It is his job to know everything about the car and to answer all of your questions.
Even if you think your question is stupid, or that the salesman may think you are dumb by asking certain questions, you should go ahead and ask anyway. As a customer, you have the right to ask whatever comes to your mind. Clarify all your doubts before buying your car.

Getting Tempted By Features

This is one mistake that many of us make. We go to a car dealership, looking for the perfect car, and the salesman, to make his sale, tries to make us buy a car that we do not need at all. During his pitch, he tries to concentrate on selling the features, so that we get tempted and make the purchase.
Many of us end up buying the features instead of the car. To avoid this, one should always go to a dealership with a list in mind of what is not needed in the car, as this helps making the right choice.
Whenever you plan to buy a car, whether new or used, deliberate on your options and take your decision very carefully. Do not let the salesman take you for a ride, and be assertive with your negotiations and choice in cars. Check out different cars, and do as much as research as you can.
Do not lease the car, thinking that you cannot afford the down payment, as that will just burn a hole in your pocket in the long run. Check out the interiors properly, and only if you like the car, and it fits all your needs and budget, make the purchase.