The Women's Guide to Buying a New Car

The Women's Guide to Buying a New Car banner

So after contemplating and weighing all the pros and cons, you have finally decided to purchase a car.

Now the process of buying a car is more overwhelming and stressful for women than men for various reasons. Some women tend to doubt their choices and this uncertainty normally leads to stress and gender discrimination. Aside from that, salesmen automatically assume that the ladies are less likely educated about the prices and technicalities of automobiles thus quoting them with higher prices than the lads. Therefore, you have to be prepared.

To avoid committing mistakes when purchasing your first car (like in any large purchases), it’s best to do your research first. We have summed up all the relevant factors that you need to look into before closing the deal and some tips to help you find “the one”.

Set Your Budget

Before actually visiting the store, set a budget and stick to it so you don’t get easily overwhelmed. It is expected that salesmen tend to be pushy so be certain of your finances. Check if you can afford to pay it in full or if you are considering other financing options. If you choose the latter, determine how much you would be conveniently willing to pay in a way that you do not sacrifice your other monthly expenses.

When calculating your budget, think about its future maintenance and other related costs. Owning a car is not as easy as it looks. You also need to consider the other car-related expenses like insurance, oil changes, maintenance and repairs, tune-ups, registration, your fuel expenses, and other related fees. It’s crucial for you to be financially prepared for this undertaking.

Purchasing a car especially if you are planning to take it through a car loan is a long-term commitment that you have to carefully plan and prepare for.

Identify What You Want and Need

Be specific and if you must, write down all the things that you want and prioritize what you need in a car so you can easily remember certain aspects. When you get to meet your salesman, the last thing you would want to happen is to be tricked into getting something you don’t like! Preparation is the key.

It makes sense to buy a car that suits your lifestyle needs, if you are buying your first car you shouldn’t be looking at buying a large SUV. We are big advocates of common sense applies, if you dont have a manual license you will need to cross off your list cars that are only manual. This might sound silly but it is a question that we deal with a lot.

So decide ahead whether you like an automatic or manual car, an SUV or a minivan, etc.

Narrow Down Your Choices

Now that you know what you need and want, search for car models online and make a list of the cars that you are eyeing. By this time, you already have an idea of how much they would cost. Recheck if your budget is realistic and identify which models you can afford. If you think something’s too pricey, then you might want to re-evaluate your standard or your budget.

The Perfect One

After all the research you have made, you finally know what car meets all your criteria. It is about time to view this in person!

Visiting the Store

This is one of the most crucial phases of buying the car that you want. Normally, when a woman walks into the showroom alone, the salespersons will inevitably think that she knows less about all the nitty-gritty and therefore, they take advantage of them. But don’t let them take you in for a ride.

Being prepared is key here. You may also want to bring a friend or a family member with you. After all, it is best if you have another pair of eyes to help you scrutinize the finer details.

Most car dealerships have a set of frequently asked questions that most customers ask, this is also a really helpful place to see what may be required on the day and any extra bits of information you may need to make it a breeze.

Don’t Rush

Try to shop around, ask questions, and collect as much information as you can. Also, try to get different quotations from different dealers. Prices differ from one dealer to another so it is ideal for you to compare and check all the available options. The cost will vary depending on the location, too.

Avoid letting the salesmen lure you into buying when you are not yet ready and don’t be afraid to walk away!

Know When is the Best time to Buy

Buying your first car could be one of the most exciting purchases you will ever have. But don’t let excitement get in the way of being a smart buyer. You will be able to save up more if you buy strategically.  

As with other retail goods, the best time to purchase a car is towards the end of the year when they need to get rid of the old models to make way for their latest line-ups.

Learn to Negotiate

Ask and you shall receive. You will not know how much they’d be willing to knock the purchase price down if you aren’t negotiating wisely! Walking away might even be a good tactic for you to know what their rock-bottom price really is. If you are not that confident, articles about effective negotiation in order to score a great deal are available on the internet. Take advantage of these.

Test Drive

This is an essential part of your car-shopping journey. You do a test drive for various reasons. First of all, you need to try it out to get used to the handling. You might be surprised that what you expected from all your research does not turn out to be the same in reality.

It is important to know if you like it or not because it can be too risky to just say “yes” even if you know you are not entirely comfortable with it. Being happy with your future ride should be on top of your priorities when considering to purchase a car.

You have to check the view of each mirror, test the controls, try out the windshield wipers, and try the brake sensitivity or the lack thereof. If you have children, you may also want to bring them along. You know how honest children are when giving opinions about things.  

Test driving will also allow you to determine if its storage capacity is enough. Pictures you have seen online will not give you the real look of the interior space in actual.  You might be the type of person who brings a lot of stuff so this is the best time for you to assess.

Bottom line is, you want to do a test drive to be 100% sure that it is the car that best fits your needs and preferences.

Don’t Buy the Add-Ons If You Don’t Need Them Yet

Salespersons are trained to upsell and if you keep saying yes to every car accessory they try to offer you, then do not be surprised if your overall cost skyrockets. If you aren’t looking for additionals at this time, it’s best to decline their offers for now.     

Say No to Extended Warranties

Just like add-ons, extended warranties will appear to be attractive until you realize that it’s not really worth it especially if it will be financed as part of your loan! Most of the coverage is limited and does not really cover the common mechanical failures in cars. This will only add up to your overall cost.

Instead of agreeing to this offer, you may want to set aside the amount intended for repairs in a bank account and use it only when needed.

If you plan on trading in a car you currently have you should look at our guide for selling your car in 4 easy steps.

In Summary

The whole car-buying journey might be exciting and overwhelming but keep in mind that you have everything under control.

To ensure you get the best car deal, do proper research, take all the time you need, ask for other people’s opinions and before you affix your signature on the final contract, go over all of the details thoroughly. Pay attention to fine prints and do not hesitate to ask if you need clarification.

Although the process may not be easy, it’s definitely worth it. So have fun and know that you can do it!

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