Whether buying a new or used car, figuring out what kind to buy and how much to spend can be a challenge. So before you head into the dealer, get pre-approved at your local bank or credit union — they’ll give you a clear picture of your financing options before you set foot on the lot, so you can shop with confidence and avoid extra fees.
Use our guides on identifying the best car dealerships that fit your needs and lifestyle before heading to the dealership, so you know exactly what questions need answers before signing on the dotted line.
Questions To Ask Yourself First
Before going to the dealership, you must know what car you want. It is also essential to figure out how much you can spend and how much you may need to finance this purchase.
People who are considering a new vehicle purchase from car dealers should ask themselves several key questions:
- How long am I planning on owning this vehicle?
- Do you want to buy and drive it until the wheels fall off, or do I think I’m going to want another vehicle in three years?
- Am I going to finance and have a monthly payment? What do I want that payment to be? What is the top end of that monthly payment range for me?
- Which features are important for my perfect car?
- How will I use this vehicle the most?
- What sort of gas mileage is essential to me so that my commute doesn’t feel like a chore because let’s face it, nobody likes sitting in traffic every morning during their commute!
By asking yourself the right questions, you should feel more at ease to go and ask questions with a car dealer.
What Are the Car’s Safety Features?
It is becoming increasingly challenging for drivers to become educated on the most advanced safety systems available.
This may lead the driver to want specific technology in a car but not purchase the right one simply because they didn’t know it existed.
For example, some safety technologies, such as automatic emergency braking, are referred to by different names than others which could confuse or mislead drivers into purchasing differently than they wanted.
What Additional Features Will I Get?
From tech features to an expansive sunroof, your car should come with a number of extras – things that are sometimes included in your vehicle and may sometimes be an additional cost.
These options might be beneficial, or they might not be included at all, so make sure you’re certain about all of them before making any final choices because there’s no going back once you’ve made up your mind!
Can I go for a highway test drive?
When you go for a test drive, you should drive the car in an environment you usually drive.
For example, if you do a lot of highway driving, it would be ideal to get it out there in such an environment.
If you’re interested to know whether or not your engine has enough power on long stretches of road or if perhaps your brakes are working as smooth as they should be, you must make sure to keep testing them. But, at the same time, in the state where they will be used the most – otherwise, this could happen to people.
Can I Test Drive a Used Car of the same model?
When checking out a new car, make sure that you drive the second-hand model first because while every car is a joy to ride when brand new, you want to understand how you’re going to feel driving this particular model ahead of time.
- Will it stand up against some wear and tear?
- Can it still do its job?
This way, if you’ll be sticking with this car for the long haul, like that three-year-old version sitting in the lot, get your feet wet with a quick test run of the used one.
- Do you still like it?
- Is it still up to your standards?
- Does it hold enough value for its cost?
Put questions like these to rest before taking the plunge and committing yourself to a nonrefundable purchase.
What Incentives Are You Offering?
When you’re in the market to buy a car, be sure to ask your dealer or, if it’s available at one of the manufacturer’s locations, a preferred lender, about current incentives.
The time that they are available and whether or not they can be combined with offers from other departments will also vary. Hence, it’s really important to find out if you need to take advantage of them immediately.
Just because an offer is stated doesn’t mean you’ll receive all the benefits listed due to factors like credit scores and sometimes post-sale add-ons, for example.
Suppose you want all of the details firsthand rather than pieces here and there from different sources before deciding on your perfect vehicle. In that case, it’s best to learn firsthand what could be possible by contacting a local business or two – offering auto loans, for example!
Are There Any Manufacturer Rebates Available?
These are cashback paid to you after you buy some models. You receive these rebates under a program based on your budgetary needs or limitations. Ask to see those cars first. Keep in mind that despite the rebate offered, you may still get taxed for the total sticker price. So, find the best car showroom that offers these rebates.
Can You Come Down on the Price?
Savvy shoppers will ask to negotiate with auto dealerships before agreeing to purchase any vehicle.
Research its invoice price to find out what the dealer paid for a vehicle. Then, ask the dealership’s salesman to meet that price. In most cases, they will have enough wiggle room to meet this price and reward you with a better deal.
Is There Special Financing Available?
Regarding financing, understand what special interest rates and special financing programs might be available.
You may have a market where local banks or credit unions don’t offer good lending options for the short term, so talk to your commercial finance lender about whether there is any form of financing you’re eligible for through their bank that might not be available through traditional means.
Am I Eligible For Tax Credits?
Any electric and plug-in hybrids can earn anywhere from $2,000 to $7,500 in certain areas.
In some areas, your car will even pay you back by itself through incentives established by the city or state. On a new car, you can also ask about maintenance plans or warranties that cover those items. Some of those include oil, brakes, and wipers examples.
And then there are Extended Service Plans which can offer up to a seven-year warranty on popular parts and powertrain systems for $1-$3 a day.
Maintenance contracts can provide a lifetime of additional service and are often cheaper than the part would cost if purchased separately.
You may want to consider signing up for a maintenance contract as soon as you own your BMW i3 or before purchasing a new one so that you’re covered from day one.
When you buy your BMW i3, your dealer will likely offer both an extended and basic warranty which you must purchase in order to take delivery of the car.
However, these types of warranties only cover manufacturer defects, not wear-and-tear issues that typically arise over time.
If any type of work needs to be completed on your vehicle because something has broken unexpectedly or gotten worse over time and mileage, then the warranty is not going to cover it.
Typical parts break down inside the first couple of years, but some wear out completely after 20,000 miles while others last significantly longer.
What will be the resale value of the car?
If you’re interested in selling your car directly to a dealer, it’s important to know what others are offering for similar cars.
Online resources can help you determine an estimated trade-in value. However, a dealer might not offer the same price that’s listed on this site because each dealership will have multiple factors beyond overall condition and mileage that determine the price they are willing to pay for your vehicle.
You should ask several dealers how much they are willing to pay for your car and go with the one whose offer is generous when other conditions like interest rates, length of financing, and warranties on the used car you want to buy are the same!
Can I get a copy of the Full Purchase Agreement?
Before you agree to the down payment and the monthly installments, you should ask to see literature on the purchase agreement that includes a breakdown of the costs, including any extra charges.
What Are the Loan Terms?
One of the most important things to look for while applying for a car loan is affordability. This means knowing how much you can afford in terms of your monthly payment and how long you plan on having the loan.
If you’re comfortable with your budget, remember to find out whether there are any penalties for earlier repayment or extra fees that could affect the total cost of borrowing money to buy a car.
The best way to get a good deal on financing is by shopping around for car loans before you even go to a dealership — the dealer will more likely be able to offer you better rates if they know somebody else is already interested in offering you an auto finance agreement at a certain rate!
Can I Get a Loan When My Car Is In The Shop?
It’s only natural to have a lot of uncertainties when making such an expensive purchase as buying a car.
To help remove some of the worries one may have about how it’s going to feel to live with the vehicle every day, one should make sure they explore the availability that car dealerships usually offer.
For instance, whether or not there are any options for car rental when cars are in for periodical service and maintenance or if there is some kind of shuttle service available to pick you up from home and drop you off if needed.
Consider these things carefully because oftentimes, small details like this will end up really hurting your situation down the road.
Judge for Yourself
When you visit a car dealership, notice the cleanliness of the store and how well-maintained it is.
A good sign of quality is that a high standard of cleanliness is reflected in the dealership’s other areas as well.
It’s true that you can’t always judge on first impressions, but if the employees at your car dealer don’t take care of it, then why would they take care of your car?
Do the salespeople seem accommodating and willing to help you throughout the process, or are they pushy trying to sell you a car?
Go into the visit with an open mind, but don’t overlook red flags.
Note: DAScenter offers car repair in Dubai. It has a team of well-trained and experienced professionals who will take care of your newly purchased car.