Monday, August 28, 2017

Research Before Buying A New Car

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One of the most annoying things in life is making a large purchase. Whether it's a car or a house or anything that requires several days worth of phone calls, gathering paperwork, signing your name on 100 pages of a contract, and shopping for the best rates. Of course, after it's all said and done, relief and enjoyment kick in! (Not to mention, that new car scent is really hard to beat!)

I've had to sit in several dealerships over the years. Most of those visits lasted several hours and I don't know about you but, I'm just too busy to waste an entire day at a dealer, waiting for paperwork to sign! Luckily, we found a dealership that is very quick, professional, precise, and has snacks, drinks, and restaurants nearby! They even allow you to borrow a vehicle to run for something to eat or you can have it delivered there! (It's those little things that win me over.) So, we purchased our last 3 vehicles from that same dealership.

In this day and age, we have this thing called the internet which comes in handy for many things. Including shopping for a new vehicle. You can do most of the work from the comfort of your own bed, sofa, or kitchen table and you can sometimes submit your financial information if you are also shopping for a loan. It could still take a few days before deciding on the right vehicle and finding the right price. If you aren't already loyal to one make and or model, you may have a little more research to do before making your decision.

Where You Should Research Before Buying A Vehicle

Sometimes it is hard to trust a dealer when it comes to honest answers about a purchase. (I found this out the hard way!) You could visit the manufacturer's websites, social media pages, read reviews on their Facebook page, and even check Twitter to see if there are any Tweets from people who already own what you are thinking of buying. It's also best to find some unbiased opinions and reviews and some facts. One of the best sources I've come across is has updated information on virtually every make and model of any vehicle there is. You can find consumer reviews, MSRP, specs, service and repair advice, recall notices, and much more. If you have a vehicle you are selling, you could even list your ad on their website! They also offer advice on what to do before selling your vehicle and help you find the right price using their valuation tool. 

If you are buying a used vehicle, it is a good idea to find out if there have been any recalls and if there are any issues that may cost a bit down the road. For instance, I recently owned a pickup truck that was perfect in every way. Except for the fact that when this truck needed a tuneup, it required special tools made by the manufacturer and yes, they cost a lot more than the usual tools, spark plus, and coil packs! It was a DIY project because the dealers were aware of the hassle and the lengthy process so, the price was more than 10 times a regular tuneup service price! Had I known this prior to making this purchase, yes, it would have changed my mind. It only affected a certain engine in certain models for a 3 year span so, I would have purchased a different year. 

For the DIY people, YouTube is a great place to visit sine there are so many mechanics and car guys who will post easy to follow videos of anything from changing spark plugs to a simple oil change to fixing a transmission or rebuilding an engine. You can also find videos and step by step instructions on You can even put the vehicle you are shopping for or one you already own into search bar and then choose from a variety of different repairs and services ranging from easy to hard. I checked this list before purchasing my most recent pickup truck so I could see if there were any surprises before buying it. 

Of course, when you get to the dealer, you should always take a test drive. My husband always drives to a parking lot and lifts the hood to double check everything before we get back to the lot. This is also a great time to see where the blind spots are and make your final decision on whether this is what you want to drive for the next few years or several years! Returning isn't always an option! 

What are some tips you have for research on a new vehicle purchase? 

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