Consider these 5 things when buying a vehicle

October 9, 2015

Getting a new car is a big investment and there are so many things to consider. We'll give you 5 pointers to make things easier, alleviate some stress, and hopefully save some money.

Consider these 5 things when buying a vehicle

1. Realize that “certified” doesn’t mean much

  • You'll never get a used-car dealer to admit this, but the term "certified pre-owned" is virtually meaningless. In fact, one auto expert said that he's seen "certified" cars with bald tires and bad brakes.
  • Sometimes the "certified" tag just means someone went through a checklist in the garage before putting the car back out on the lot.
  • Many times, a dealer selling a certified used car offers a long-term guarantee (which is good). But unless that guarantee covers everything, chances are that you're just buying a regular used car with some problems.
  • Before you buy a car, take it to your own mechanic for a careful going-over and let them certify it for you.

2. Know your extended-warranty options

  • After jacked-up financing rates, car dealers' biggest profit generators are extended warranties.
  • Before you sign on the dotted line, know that there are other warranty options out there. The internet can be a saving grace for consumers: plenty of websites offer policies that beat or exceed the ones being offered by the dealer. You may not buy your warranty over the internet, but just knowing what your pricing options are will give you leverage with the dealer.

3. Specificity saves you money

Ever wonder just what happens when the car salesman tells you he has to "go speak to the manager"?

  • One car dealer explained exactly what happens: they spend their time formulating a strategy to sell you a car for maximum profit.
  • Want to get a car at the best price? Here's how: know exactly which car you want to buy, including model, options, and colour. Then go to five different dealers and tell them what you want. Tell each dealer that you're going to four competitors, and that you'll be back the next day and you want to hear his best price. No nonsense, no sales games, just the price.

4. Check out the tire specs

  • The salespeople won't mention it, but some new cars are being sold these days with "performance" tires that are designed to give the car better handling on dry roads at super-high speeds (sometimes speeds the car can't even reach).
  • These tires can cost twice as much as conventional tires, and often come with no warranty whatsoever.
  • Because the cost of these tires is rolled into the sticker price of your new car, you might not realize what you've ended up with until a few years later, when you have to replace those pricey tires.
  • It's a good idea to research what the options really are for tires on the model you want to buy.

5. Buy your car in September

  • This is the time of year when the next model year cars are being rolled out. Dealers are anxious to liquidate the older new cars and you can get a good deal.
  • Visit the dealership on a weekday, preferably towards the end of the month.

Use these tips and shop around. You really can get your dream car for significantly less than you may have expected.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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