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Buying a car takes up a lot of time, with shoppers spending nearly 4 months online researching their purchase. Next to your home, your family car is the second biggest expense in your household. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle to replace an older model that constantly breaks down, or if you need more space, there are several ways to shorten the process and enhance the buying experience.
Do Your Research
Research is essential to determine vehicle reliability and suitability, pricing, and financing. While price is the biggest factor that affects your purchase, there are also other elements in the buying process, such as deciding the best type of car. For example, hatchbacks are smaller than estates, and may not be adequate for your growing family. An SUV has a higher ground capacity and more trunk space, and while a minivan might not look attractive, some have third row seats that you can use to transport the entire family, including in-laws and pets.
Another question that needs to be answered is whether you should buy new or used. Pre-owned vehicles have lower price tags and financing requirements, enabling you to go for a better model. However, you might also inherit the problems of used cars, as they are sold ‘as is’. In addition, you will not benefit from the newest safety technology and features that are available in new cars. Plus, there is no warranty on used vehicles.
Get Financing Pre-Approved
A common mistake that car shoppers make is to visit dealerships before their financing is pre-approved. Unless you have enough cash to pay for a new ride, financing is critical. Secure it before heading to the garage to look at cars so that you’ll know how much money you can spend on a new or used vehicle.
It’s also important to calculate insurance costs for a family car. Depending on the vehicle you choose, premiums will be influenced by the value of the car and the specific model. Discounts can help lower costs, such as bundling insurances, a good driving record, or buying a car with safety features or anti-theft system.
Test Drive A Vehicle
Once the budget, model, and financing are sorted, go to a dealership and test drive a car. Know the delivery date of your vehicle if you’re ordering a new one. Availability of stock can affect how soon you can let go of your current ride or risk renting one while waiting for fulfillment. When testing the car, check if bulky items such as strollers, playpens, and portable beds will fit in the trunk of the car. Door openings should be wide enough to make it easy for you to remove or attach child seats. Look at Isofix mounting points, and ensure that airbags can be deactivated if you need to transport a baby in the front seat. Other extras or features that may come in handy for your tiny passengers include integrated sun blinds, tinted rear windows, and stadium seating to give kids a better view of the front.
The car buying process does not need to be complicated or stressful. If you do your research well and ensure financing, there’s no reason why you can’t get your hands on the most suitable and affordable car for your family.