By now, you’re done with borrowing Dad’s sedan and are looking for something more up to your speed. Buying a new car can be tricky, especially with all the options available in the market today. Buying second-hand used to be the only option for purchasing a first car but with the financing deals being offered today, many are opting to look into brand new. Here are some tips to keep in mind at the dealership showroom, to help you find the car that is not only suited to your needs but will also help you look as fine AF when safely driving off from Point A to Point B.
1. Take your time. Buying a new car is not the same as picking out the latest Nike kicks. It takes a much larger investment on your end. Plus, unlike a sneakerhead’s collection cabinet, there’s probably only space in your garage for one car. Ixnay on the impulse-buying because chances are you’ll be driving your whip for a couple of years – you’ve gotta be ready for some form of commitment.
2. Check your budget. If getting one on a car loan, talk to your bank to find out how much they are willing to lend you. Some banks even offer a car loan calculator online, to show you how much and how long you will be paying. Sure, they can help you get that sports car on that salary but will there be anything left for you to eat, drink, and party? Get cleared for a car loan so that you can swagger into that showroom with confidence.
3. Log on. Here’s where you have to get your geek on. The first course of action is to go online. Check out the cars that you have been salivating on in the streets, you know what we mean – those that want catch your eye whenever you are cruising down the highway. Check out the car dealer’s page and look through the specs. Watch videos of how the car cruises down streets. That will help you visualize how they run.
4. Shop around. Even if you have found your dream car, it won’t hurt to check out the competitor’s page and see if they have something in a similar model. Compare pricing and specs, check out which models are on promo and which comes with free gear. While online, look into consumer reviews, and articles made by impartial bodies and credible sites. Find out if there are cases where that model has received a recall order in another country or, conversely, won awards of excellence.
5. Use car comparison tools. These sites have made shopping so much easier. All you have to do is to input the cars that you are looking at and they will serve up a chart that gives data on engine size, max output, and car dimensions. Make a list of the qualities that you want in a car (no, they don’t come with the car show girls) and go with something that fits about 80% of the list. Know your must-haves and non-negotiables, see if it comes in your favorite color.
6. Go for eco. Two words to look for in your search: fuel efficiency. With gas prices fluctuating over periods of time and the crazy traffic buildup that is happening in the Metro at the moment, you would want to have a car that not only looks pretty, but will get you good gas mileage. Having an eco-friendly car may not add to pogi points per se, but the knowledge that you are driving something that doesn’t guzzle gas and release large amounts of those noxious fumes will do your heart good.
7. Talk to people. Take advantage of those beer nights to do something else other than ogle cute girls you won’t have the nerve to approach anyway. Ask your buddies to talk about their own cars and what the advantages and disadvantages of talking to a certain dealer are. Talk to your dad’s mechanic, ask what models are usually brought in to their shop and what the usual complaints are. These are the things that don’t come with the catalogue. Get into the gritty details.
8. Go for the show. Once you have picked out the car of your choice, visit the showroom to see it first-hand. Talk to the sales people about the specs and what freebies they can throw in. Ask about their warranty policies and car financing schemes.
9. Take the test. Ask your car salesman for an appointment to take the car out for a spin. It would be advisable to set an appointment instead of going out on the same day that you have the talks so you can come back more prepared. When taking the test drive, give considerations on how you normally drive and what you are comfortable with. Are the seats high/low enough? Is there enough legroom between you and the brakes? How easily does it respond to you? Some good ideas would be to drive around without turning on the sound system first, so you can hear her engine purr (or knock). Try the wipers and the light switches, to see if they fit your fingers without any fumbling. Bring the gear that you normally have with you, like your laptops, you can have an idea of how easily you can stow it. If you have small kids bring their car seats to check how they latch on. While driving, ask your car salesman as many questions as you can, and check the car’s high-tech features in action.
10. Pick and pay. When you have made your choice, it’s time to do the paperwork. To speed up the purchasing process, bring your important documents with you to the dealership, including bank approval slips and pertinent IDs. Wait for your delivery date and voila, drive it to Blade Auto Center to dress it up and its time to cruise the streets in your brand new steed!