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The thought of driving off the car lot with that new car smell surrounding you is exciting. But before you sign that sales agreement that puts you in possession of a new car, there are some pitfalls you have to look out for. You do not want to make one of the biggest mistakes most people make when buying a new car and then have to live with that mistake for the duration of the loan.

Buying Cars Online

The Biggest Mistakes You Make When Buying a Car

Image via Flickr by bcymet

Sure, looking at cars on the Internet is convenient, but a car is not something you can buy online. You can get an idea of what you may want by looking online, but you should always shop for a car in person. Sites such as DriveTime will allow you to compare cars side by side and see which one you like the best. You should not purchase a car until you actually sit in it and take it for a ride.

Buying a New Car

You can still get that new car smell in a used vehicle, mostly because many used cars are from the same model year as the new ones. A brand new car loses value as soon as you drive it off the lot. To avoid losing thousands of dollars in the blink of an eye, you should buy a used car instead of a brand new one. Most used cars still have the manufacturer’s warranty in effect and have all of the same features as new cars.

Not Researching Loan Payments

When you negotiate your car purchase price with the dealership, the salesperson will try to find out how much you can pay per month. This approach will wind up costing you more money as the salesperson will try to maneuver the numbers so they fit your budget. The best approach is to research how much various loan amounts will cost you per month and get the salesperson to focus on the purchase price rather than the monthly payment. This will usually result in you having lower monthly payments than you expected.

Not Getting Pre-Approved

If you want to avoid the payment negotiations with the salesperson at the dealership completely, then get pre-approved by a lender and know exactly what you can spend before you go shopping. This eliminates the stressful negotiations at the dealerships and allows you to shop for the exact vehicle you want.

Taking a Short Test Drive

When you are test-driving a vehicle, give it the works and really see what it can do. That does not mean that you should take it out on the open road and go as fast as it can go. It means that you should take the vehicle into the kind of driving conditions you see every day and feel how the car maneuvers. Use the test drive to your advantage when looking for a new car.

People often get antsy when they are shopping for a new car and tend to make basic mistakes. When you are properly prepared to go new car shopping, then you will be sure to get the best deal for your situation.