Stay cool when picking up your new car. Read all paperwork that you are signing. Take an inventory of everything you purchased and check it against the list you made.
By: Suzanne Tremblay
Today, women influence about 85 percent of all new vehicle purchases and this year more women than men will buy new cars. In spite of these facts, patronizing remarks and intimidation techniques still run rampant in some dealerships.
Since the average price of a new car today is between $20,000 and $25,000. and you’ll likely spend the next five to seven years with the car that you have chosen, it only makes sense to ensure that you are investing wisely.
There’s a vehicle today to meet every woman’s needs.
1. Write down all the cars you think you might like to own. Consider life style, your financial situation and where you’ll be driving it.
2. Life-style is important because it needs to be compatible with a vehicle type that suits it best.
* Are you a busy single or an urban dweller? Maybe a sports car, coupe, or a compact model would suit you.
* Do you have an active family? A minivan or a station wagon can make life easier for you and your kids.
* Are you a sports nut? A sport utility vehicle or a car with large trunk space can accommodate the bulky equipment.
* Do you have to carry loads of stuff? Consider a station wagon, a small truck or one of the small vans with easy to open large doors.
Take out the emotion and seriously consider your finances.
1. Determine what you can afford to pay and remember that sales tax can add quite a chunk to the bottom line. You’ll be able to enjoy the car more when you don’t have to worry if you can manage the monthly payments or that you have emptied out your entire savings account.
2. Calculate the added costs of owning a car. Insurance, fuel, parking, license and registration. The cost of insurance varies according to vehicle type, driver’s age and driving record. Premiums for some sporty luxury models can be outrageous and some insurance companies won’t insure them at all.
3. The decision to lease or buy your new car should be made only after you have checked out the current interest rates. Your bank or financial institution has all the information necessary to help you calculate the options. If you take advantage of one of the low leasing rates offered by some dealerships, you might be better off investing your hard earned cash in some high interest bearing stocks or bonds. The increasing selling price of new cars is directing many women toward leasing their vehicle because when you compare it with conventional financing, a lease will have a lower monthly payment. However, the lower the payments, the higher the buy-out figure is at the end of the lease period. In fact, if you want to purchase the car, you might end up paying more than its book value!
It’s grunt work, but doing the research can save you money and headaches.
1. When you have narrowed down your options, begin to gather information from all available sources. The Internet and your local library are good places to start. Several magazines give a roster of new vehicle opportunities, including a short synopsis and price range for each vehicle listed. The latest issue of the Consumer Reports can be helpful as it compares car features in related classifications.
2. Visit dealerships and test drive cars. From the list you made of vehicles best suited to your life-style, find the dealerships in your area that handle those cars. You can do this by going through the yellow pages of your phone directory or by checking the automotive listings in the classified section of your local newspaper. Most papers run an auto section on Saturday or Sunday. Personal recommendation is the best way to decide which dealerships have the best reputations. Ask people at work — or in your family. You can also call your local Automobile Dealer Association and inquire about which dealers have few or no complaints lodged against them.
If you are well prepared, you will be in charge of the negotiations.
1. It is important to separate test drives and price negotiations. They need to be two different efforts and should be done on separate visits to the dealership. In their effort to close a deal, sales people can confuse the issues if you don’t focus in one area at a time.
3. Take your time when you negotiate your deal. You are in a position of power. If you’re not sure, walk out and think about it.
4. Once the deal is done, make a list of all the features and options agreed upon, including any “extras” the salesperson may have thrown in to sweeten the deal. Ensure that the written contract includes each item.
Stay cool when picking up your new car.
Your job is not done yet. Be sure that you read all paperwork that you are signing. Take an inventory of everything you purchased and check it against the list you made. Be sure the spare tire and any other “removable item” is in the vehicle and that the “prep” work actually happened. Review your service contract and note the date of your first appointment.
Now, go out and enjoy your driving!