The Best Practices of Finding a New Vehicle in the KC Area
The process of buying a new car can be a tad overwhelming, especially if you’ve never done it before. There are so many cars on the market being sold through a staggering number of dealerships that it’s hard to know where to find the best deal.
Fear not, dear reader, we’re here to walk you through it. Using our new car buying tips and best practices, you’ll be able to navigate the world of car shopping like a seasoned pro. By following our tips, not only will you find the best new car for you, but you’ll also be able to avoid those nasty surprises that crop up during the new car buying process.
Let’s break everything down step-by-step.
Step #1 – Get Your Budget in Order
Before you start searching for new cars, the first thing that you should do is set a firm budget. If you plan on paying in cash, your budget can be the overall amount for the car. However, if you’re like most new car buyers, then you’ll want to budget by a monthly amount. Most new car buyers like yourself need to arrange some sort of financing.
There are two ways to go about this. The first is that you can speak with your bank or local credit union about financing your vehicle. Once they determine the amount of money that you qualify for, they will issue you a pre-approval letter that you can take with you to the dealership. The second option is that you can get financing through one of the lenders that the car dealership uses.
Most people find it convenient to get their financing and their vehicle from the same place, so don’t feel like you have to do the legwork beforehand. Your dealership will be more than happy to work with you on financing.
If you have a used car trade-in and/or a down payment you can put down, this will reduce your monthly payment and possibly qualify you for more favorable loan terms. Additionally, don’t forget to factor in your car’s interest rate as well as sales tax when doing monthly payment calculations.
Step #2 – Determine Your “Must-Haves” Before Shopping
There are literally thousands of new cars for sale in Kansas City. Now that you know your budget, your next step should be to whittle down that large selection into something manageable. The best way to do that is to ask yourself what your “must-haves” are with this new vehicle.
Does it need to have tons of storage for family camping trips and big grocery runs?
Does it need to have superior fuel economy for your long daily commute?
Or, does it need to have tons of horsepower and torque to keep up with your speedy driving style?
Once you figure out your “must-haves” and if you want a coupe, sedan, or SUV, the shopping process gets considerably easier.
Step #3 – Start Shopping and Applying Filters
The great thing about shopping for a new car these days is that you can do the majority of it online. Simply visit your preferred car shopping site, and start applying filters to whittle down the selection, starting with your “must-haves” and your overall budget. From there, you can start applying filters based upon make, model, drivetrain, color, and much more. Keep narrowing things down until you arrive at a handful of vehicles that look like viable test drive candidates.
Step #4 – Take Some Test Drives
Hopefully, you’ve whittled down your selection to three or four new vehicles that look like they fit the bill. Now comes the fun part: test driving. You can arrange a test drive by either visiting the new car dealership in-person or by contacting them via phone or email to set up a test drive appointment.
When test driving, make sure you take the car through neighborhoods at low speeds as well as the interstate at high speeds. Spend at least 15 to 20 minutes driving the vehicle so that you can really get a feel for how it handles. This is also a great time to have your sales associate take you through the feature package of the vehicle. Sometimes features can serve as a tiebreaker when you can’t decide between two vehicles.
Step #5 – Make a Decision
After test driving a few vehicles, you should have things narrowed down to one or two vehicles. If you’re having trouble deciding, there are some factors that you should consider that might make the decision-making process easier.
“Which vehicle has the better warranty?”
“Which vehicle is going to afford me a lower cost of ownership?”
“Which vehicle is rated higher by industry publications such as Car and Driver?”
“Which vehicle better suits my needs and wants?”
Don’t be afraid to take some time to think about it if you truly can’t decide. Buying a new car is a big decision, so there’s no need to rush it.
Start Shopping for a New Car in Kansas City Today!
Now that you know the best practices of shopping for a new car, the next step is for you to officially kick things off. Once you figure out your budget and what your needs are, the car shopping process becomes an enjoyable experience filled with possibilities. Remember to take your time and consider all the factors before making a final decision. If you don’t absolutely love the car, don’t be afraid to wait for one that truly captures your attention.