How and When to buy a car
By: Luke Shaff ~
Driving around in an old car that has started giving you troubles? Don’t wait until December to get some great deals on new cars. It is a little-known fact that August also happens to be one of the best months to buy a car. Manufacturers start rolling out new models around the month of August. The month varies from one brand to another but in general it is somewhere between late summer and early fall.
You can use this opportunity in two ways. Dealers are trying to clear the inventory of current model so that they can make some room for the new model and hence they give good deals and incentives. If you are not so interested in deals and have some money to spare and want to get your hands on the latest and greatest tech and designs, then you can pre-order the new model customized just as you like with the bells and whistles you need.
In general, dealerships give good deals at end of month because they want to hit their sales targets. Another thing to check with dealers are offers for members or employees of certain brands or companies. For example, Costco members get good offers at certain dealerships. In the Seattle area many dealerships give offer to people working for companies like Microsoft, Amazon or any Credit Unions.
It is always a good idea to get quotes for the same model from different dealerships. Sometimes dealerships that are a bit far from the city sell cars at lower price than the dealerships within the city.
One of the most integral parts of buying a car is test drive. As painful as it can be, it is something that cannot be taken lightly and ignored. Buying a car is not a small investment for most people. And unlike many things that you buy day-to-day, a car cannot be returned after you buy because you do not like it or does not fit you.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you are going for test drives:
- Try out the exact same car that you are looking at. Some people tend to drive a car thinking all cars are same. Main reason for people doing this is that many dealerships have only few cars in the dealership parking lot and have another bigger parking space a bit far from the dealership where they store most of the cars.
The importance of test driving the exact same car is:
- Different cars in same model might have different engine sizes and horsepower. Look at this blog to learn about some car terminologies
- Even if the engines are of same power, there might be differences in features like lane assist, navigation system, information system, adaptive cruise control (ACC), parking sensors, parking assist etc.
- Maybe you are a person who likes to have the sunroof open all the time and feel the car as dull and gloomy otherwise. If you test drive a car that has no sunroof whereas the car that you are going to buy has a sunroof, then you are most probably not going to feel at ease in the test drive car and end up not buying that model
- The interior color and design also can change from car to car in same model which also is a very important aspect
- Wheel size and width can vary and hugely impacts the road grip and feel of driving
- Book appointments with multiple brand dealerships on same day so that you can compare the models. One good way is to block a complete weekend just for test drives. If you drive few models over a span of few days or weeks, there is high chance that you would have forgotten how the first one you test drove felt
- You must feel at ease when you sit in the car. Maybe you are a tall person and you head is too close to the roof or your legs come too close to the steering and dash. From my experience, based on height, arm length, leg length etc. different cars will have different levels of comfort for you irrespective of the fact that seats and steering are adjustable
- If you have kids and they need baby seat or booster seat, then better bring along the baby seat or booster seat so that you can try placing them in the car and see whether you are able to comfortably attach them to the seat
- When you are doing the test drive go to the kind of terrain and roads that is part of your usual commute or kinds of places you usually visit. For example, drive in freeway if your daily commute involves lots of freeway driving. If you will take your vehicle off roads then better try out the vehicle in rough terrains
Just getting a car is not enough. You have to make sure the car is healthy. Take a look at our other blogs to know how to take good care of your car.