Five steps to a happy car purchase

Some easy steps to take to ensure your car-buying experience is a happy one

Five steps to a happy car purchase

New car models are hitting dealerships now and Australian car sales are on the up this year, that means car dealers can expect to see plenty of customers through their doors in coming months.

Getting the best possible car buying experience isn’t exactly hard, according to the non-profit credit counselling service Greenpath Financial Wellness, but they say doing your homework is essential.

Five steps to a happy car purchase…

Step 1 – Research

Many people buy cars based on what they look like or what they are familiar with. Instead of buying the same type of car that you’ve always driven, it may be wiser to list the options you are looking for, and then do some research. Really think about what you want versus what you need.

Step 2 - Find Financing

Once you know what you are looking for, think about if you would like to buy new, used, or lease. What financing options are realistic for you, based on your income and credit? Don’t borrow more money than you are comfortably able to repay. And remember, your credit score will directly impact the interest rate you will pay on your loan.

Step 3 – Take Your Time

Now that you have a better idea of your price range, start shopping around for selection and dealer incentives for your particular car choices. Do not rush out and buy the first car you see on an impulse. It’s better to exercise some patience and be sure about your choice. Shop online as well as in person, that helps you compare prices for similar models.

Step 4 – Determine Payment Amount

Getting a lower monthly payment isn’t always the best route. Sometimes a dealer will simply increase the number of months on your loan in order to lower your monthly payment, but that often means you’ll pay much more in interest over the life of the loan. Be careful about ending up in car loans that last for extended periods of time.

Step 5 – Consider Other Costs

Your total transportation expense will include the vehicle payment, as well as everything else – insurance, fuel, servicing and maintenance, registration etc. Make sure that you have added all potential costs into your budget. Once everything looks good, you’re ready to buy that car!

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