Avoid car buying mistakes

Buying a car is a big deal for a lot of Americans. Whether your new ride is flashy or built for comfort and utility, the car-buying process is very much the same. While there is often room to negotiate when settling on a final price, there are a lot of mistakes car buyers make. Here are some of the top mistakes:

Buying new
While this may not apply to everyone, many people make their first mistake by deciding to buy a new car instead of a used one. Some drivers just don't like the idea of buying a used car, but they are cutting out a lot of great vehicles and deals by thinking this way. The reason buying new is a big mistake for a lot of owners is that the car loses a ton of value the second it is driven off the lot. Compared to a used car, the steep depreciation in value makes it a bad investment. The same car in a model from the previous year can be significantly cheaper and you won't lose as much on the overall resale value. When looking for a car, consider buying used instead of new.

Not researching
With so much information available at just the click of a button, there is almost no excuse for not doing a little online research before heading out to buy a car. From prices and models, to consumer reviews and the ability to compare car insurance policies and rates, conducting some research beforehand can be your best method to go about buying a car. As a major investment, you want to make sure you are getting the vehicle that suits you and is affordable - including the other costs that will come along with it, such as insurance.

Buying add-ons
When you buy a car, the dealer will likely try to sell you on their add-ons, like car accessories and other luxuries you probably don't need. These add-ons can include fabric protection or glass tinting and rust protection. Most of the time, they aren't necessary. The effect that add-ons have on the resale value is very minimal, if there is any at all. If there is a specific feature you want in your car, make sure you find it online and bring in the information when you head to the dealership.

Skipping the test drive
One of the most exciting parts of buying a car is taking the vehicle out for a spin. However, a lot of buyers forget this practice and wind up with a car that has uncomfortable seats, a stiff steering wheel or windows that add up to bad visibility. It's important to know what you are buying and make sure it is comfortable and what you really want. To get to know how a car feels, a test drive can be the most important part of the car-buying transaction. Spend about 30 minutes going over how the car drives and feels.

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