After giving it much thought, you decided to buy a new car. Whether your current one started to show its first signs of old age or you simply need an update, the time has finally come to get yourself some new wheels in your driveway.
However, despite all the excitement that comes along, buying a car can be a long and daunting task, especially for those who are new to the process. There are so many things to consider, from finding the right car model to getting the best deal and avoiding unwanted upsells, all of which must be explored ahead of time to make a smooth purchase.
To avoid making common car-buying mistakes, you need to follow a few essential steps first. To help you along, we give you the ultimate checklist to follow when buying a car.
Table of Contents
Set Your Budget
After your home, your car is the second biggest financial commitment you will make in your life. That’s why it is important that you plan your finances in advance and set a budget that suits you and helps you get the car you want. You should start by deciding whether you want to pay cash, take out a loan or lease your new ride.
For instance, although paying cash makes the budgeting process much simpler, many people choose to take out an auto loan instead to buy a car. When doing so, it is advised that you research financing ahead of time so you can get the best deal during the negotiation process.
In many countries, getting car insurance is a legal requirement even if you have just bought your car and are driving it home. If you already have insurance, you can choose to get a new policy or renew your old one to cover the new vehicle.
If you do the latter, it is important that you do your research on the various types of car insurance coverage and their benefits. Because the rates for each coverage vary by state and insurance companies, you should compare quotes from different providers before you make a purchase.
For instance, if you are planning to buy a car in Canada, click here and visit to learn more about the mandatory car insurance policies and their rates across the country.
Find the Car You Want
Whatever your budget is, there are thousands of car models available. However, there are a few things you can do to help you narrow down your search.
Firstly, start by making a list of all the features you want your new ride to have. Some of the most popular ones you should consider include heat and air conditioning, power windows, automatic vs. manual transmission, seats, and safety features.
Secondly, decide whether you want to buy a new car straight out of the salon or a used car from a car dealer. If you choose to do the latter, make sure you find a reputable car dealership in your area.
Gather All Important Documents
One of the most dreadful, but also important steps of the car buying process is gathering all important paperwork. There are several documents you will need including your driver’s license, proof of auto insurance, and your financing documents.
For instance, your driver’s license will serve as a legal document proving that you can legally drive, so make sure it is valid and hasn’t expired.
As for your financing documents, you first need to find out which payment forms the car dealership accepts before you make a purchase. Some may allow you to bring a personal check, while others will require other paperwork if you are taking out an auto loan.
Check the Car
Before you give your money to the car dealer, it is imperative that you do a thorough inspection of the vehicle to see whether it is in good working condition. This is especially important to do if you are buying a used car.
Besides performing a physical inspection, you should check other important things such as:
- The vehicle registration certification
- MOT certificates
- Testing the car features and accessories
- Checking for signs of rust and welding
- Taking it out for a drive
Buying a car can be both exciting and stressful for people. In order to get through the process hassle-free, it is important to know which steps to take so you can purchase the car of your dreams fast and easily. For more help, follow the tips in our post and make your car-buying process successful.