Researching cars for sale can be a daunting task, especially when you’re new to the practice. Below is a step by step guide to help make your exploration of cars for sale more productive:
Step 1: Know your budget.
We’re not just talking about how much you can scrape up to get a tin can off Craigslist. We mean what’s your lower limit, upper limit, lease budget, outright buy budget, etc. This might involve thinking about things you hadn’t considered, such as the car’s depreciation rate, useful life, gas mileage, etc. Paying more in the short term for better gas mileage for example could be worth stretching your budget a little for the long term gains.
Step 2: Determine whether to go with new cars or pre owned cars.
Maybe it’s the general attitude towards sales people. Maybe it was the movie “Matilda.” For whatever reason, most people would rather go in for a root canal than deal with a pre owned car dealer. But one should not judge a pre owned car dealer by your haunted memory of Danny DiVito in a 90’s movie. A pre owned car dealer and its sales staff can be a valuable source of information in your car purchase experience, especially if the price of buying or even leasing a new car is prohibitive to you. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to afford a new model, many car websites and showrooms will have listed specs and facts ready to view either online or in person. But if you’re going the used car dealer route, all is not lost in this respect. Finding the right car just might take a little more research…
Step 3: Research the robustness of different brands.
Cars are like everything else — every brand claims to be the best, when in fact each has a combination of strong and weak features. Let’s take Chevy and Subaru, for example. If you were to roll on up to one of the many used Chevy dealers in the area, a sales person would probably wax poetic about how Chevys cover nearly two thirds of global road area and that a Chevy is sold once every seven seconds or so. A Subaru dealer on the other hand would probably tell you that their parent company started out making airplanes and that the engineering of their boxer engine is unparalleled. It’s good to listen to these sorts of stories, but you should also do your own independent investigation.
Step 4: Prioritize your needs.
Once you have a good sense of all the alternatives and brands available to you, the hardest part of all lies ahead — actually making the decision about which one to choose. For this step, we recommend making a list of all your car priorities, ranking them, and then weighting the ranks. For example, if you’re a soccer mom with nine kids, you’re probably going to prioritize roominess and safety over engine capability. If you’re a CEO, you might want to spend the extra money on a luxury body and leather seats.
At the end of the day, buying a car is all about finding the perfect match of you, the sales team, and the car. It’s not easy, but if you stick with the process, you’ll have a new mobile companion for the next few years.