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Man And Woman Sitting In Car Smiling Out Window

Eight must-do’s to painlessly buying a car.

It should not feel like you’re having a root canal!!

 

Close your eyes and think back to the first car you bought on your own. Do you remember the make, model, and color? Who was the first person that you showed it off to? These images may be positive memories for you. Let me ask you this, how did the car buying process make you feel? Unfortunately, I think most of us can recall images of wasting a perfectly good Saturday waiting in a sales office hoping we get a good deal and that we were making the right choice.

 

I remember my first car buying experience at 18 years old and it was a nightmare. It was very stressful and at one point, the salesperson said, “are we going to do this deal or what?!” I cried! Yep, right there in his office. I was so intimidated that I quickly signed the papers and left the dealership with hives! I didn’t leave feeling happy about my new purchase or any part of that experience. I had paid too much for the vehicle and when it was time for me to trade it in, I owed quite a bit more than it was worth. This left me “upside down” in my next loan, as I had to add the remaining balance I still owed to my new loan. I was so angry at myself, and at the high-pressure dealership that sold me my first car, that I have NEVER stepped one foot back into that place. Like my Pepere (grandfather) would say as he shook his fist, “It will be a cold day before they see my face again!” (Well! That is not a ‘direct’ quote, I had to clean it up a bit, God love him! Haha!) #Amen.

So here I am, roughly 22 years later, standing in front of several high school seniors from Winslow High School giving them the wisdom I wish I would have had before I purchased my first car. We talked about all the preparation and research that should be done before you even visit a dealership, such as:

  1. Compiling a monthly budget to see what you can REALLY afford
  2. Checking your credit
  3. getting pre-approved at your local financial institution
  4. DO YOUR RESEARCH (we have GOOGLE now!) vehicle options, safety records, online reviews, dealership reviews, and trade-in values
  5. Find good salespeople that ask open-ended questions and that LISTEN to what you are saying
  6. What to do/not do on a test drive and who you should take with you
  7. Why warranties and gap insurance may be good investments
  8. Helpful negotiation tips – I love this part! I have become VERY good at this. I taught the students the old “he who talks first loses” lesson and a few other things I have learned from former car sales reps.

Buying a car is still not my most favorite thing to do, but I have learned how to make it easier and have had great experiences at local dealerships. The best sale is when both parties walk away from the transaction feeling good about the deal.

So with all of that said, are you fully prepared to buy your next vehicle? Could you use some help? My car buying show is fully portable and I would love to visit you and your co-workers at your place of business for a FREE learning session. I’ll even buy you lunch!  Just contact me at tverzoni@newdimensionsfcu.com or call me at (207) 313-5924.

Do you have any great car buying tips that have helped you?  Please let me know!