7 Common Mistakes to Avoid During the Car Buying Process

September 30th, 2019 by

The average price of a new car in Canada comes in at around $33,500. Of course, it’s possible to spend far more than that figure too!

With such significant sums of cash on the table, you want to get the best bang for your buck. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to be taken for a ride.

Simply, the car buying process is fraught with opportunity to lose money and make a bad purchase. Anyone can make a mistake! However, people who have never bought a vehicle before are arguably more likely to lose out.

Thankfully, knowing the mistakes to avoid in advance can help you come out on top. Are you looking to buy a car? We want to help!

Keep reading to discover the top mistakes to steer clear of in the buying process.


1. Rushing the Process

Good things come to those who wait, right?

The truth in this classic adage is often the case when buying a car.

Simply, people who rush the process are more likely to make a bad decision. It’s easily done. You’re excited to get a new set of wheels. You head on down to the first dealership and buy the first shiny vehicle you see.

This approach is a recipe for disaster – especially when buying a second-hand vehicle.

For one thing, there might be a far better car for sale (for the same price) elsewhere. Equally, you might have failed to read the small print in the contract! Furthermore, there might be problems with the car that you didn’t see the first time around.

Always take your time, shop around, and be diligent in every respect.


2. Buying Brand New

Buying a new car isn’t necessarily a ‘mistake’ in the classic sense.

We mention it only because it’s always worth considering the alternative: buying a pre-owned vehicle.

Used goods often get a bad reputation. People want the status that comes with purchasing a brand new set of wheels. However, they aren’t an inherently sensible purchase to make.

For instance, new cars depreciate hugely in the first year. Expect it to lose as much as 20 percent of its value in the first 12-18 months.

That’s hardly what you’d consider an investment. You’ll have to pay more for insurance (and sometimes registration) as well.

By contrast, used cars come exponentially cheaper upfront. Even better, they’ve already depreciated!

That means they hold their resale value far better too. If money is an issue, then buying used is a much more sensible approach.


3. Buying Without an Inspection

Used cars make more financial sense.

But they’re undoubtedly more of a risk. The older the vehicle, and the more miles it’s covered, the riskier the decision to buy it.

Dealers and private sellers may, understandably, be reluctant to let you know about a car’s flaws. It may look great and perform okay on a test drive. However, the story could be entirely different under the hood.

Always have a mechanic look over the vehicle before you buy it. Don’t, and you risk purchasing a disaster waiting to happen.

Here are some further tips on buying a used car.


4. Falling for Long Term Financing

Long term financing can seem perfect when money is tight.

After all, you have to pay less every month to own the car. Surely that’s only a good thing?

It definitely can be. However, it’s worth doing the math in advance. You want a solid understanding of how much you’ll pay for the vehicle.

Remember, loan repayments come with interest on top. The longer you take to pay it off, the more time that interest has to accumulate. Those lower monthly payments can lead to significantly higher overall expenditure.

Ask your dealer for specifics. You should only ever commit to repayments in full knowledge of how much you’re paying.


5. Failing to Try before You Buy

Test drives are fundamental parts of buying a car.

It might sound obvious. Why would anyone decide to spend thousands of dollars on a vehicle they haven’t tried first? You’d be surprised how many people do it.

They may be in a rush, like the look of the car, and trust the salesman.

They commit to the purchase as a result.

Again, it’s a recipe for disaster. Failing to test drive a car is like buying a new mattress without laying on it first. It’s unlikely to end well.


6. Doing a Limited Test-Drive

Some people succeed in test-driving the car.

Yet they fail to do it thoroughly. They might drive around a block or two but never get out of second gear. They fail to put it through its paces and give the car a chance to show its true colours.

Using the mattress analogy once again, this is like sitting on the edge of it and bouncing up and down a few times.

You just can’t get a solid impression of what the vehicle is truly like. Always ask the dealer to take the car for a proper spin before committing to buy it.


7. Failing to Negotiate

The asking price is set in stone, right?

Private sellers always have room to negotiate, and some dealerships are open to it as well.

The sticker price on the front of a car can almost always come down. New buyers can be afraid of haggling, but doing so can save you hundreds of dollars. Sometimes all you have to do is ask the question, “Is that the best you can do?”

Remember, the salesman wants you to buy that car. After all, their commission is on the line.

The price of the car might not change. You might, however, be able to swindle a new spare tire, reduced interest rates on your monthly repayments, and so on. Something will be possible to sweeten the deal!


Final Thoughts on the Car Buying Process

There you have it: seven common mistakes to avoid in the car buying process!

Buying a car is a serious financial investment. That new set of wheels will set you back thousands of dollars. You want to make sure you get the best deal possible.

Unfortunately, there can be a lot of room for error. New buyers, in particular, are susceptible to making mistakes throughout the process. Knowing what to avoid is key to getting the best bang for your buck.

Are you looking to buy a new car? We can help. Click here to browse the special new car offers we have on right now.