Shopping for cars can get complicated at times especially if you’re trying to fit your whole family in it.
Not only does the car have to suit your family but you must make sure it fits your budget, runs right, and make sure you recognize all the fees that come with it. Here we got 20 tips on what to look for when buying a family car.
Check them out as they are very helpful:
RESEARCH THE DEALERSHIP
One of the major stakeholders in buying a car is the dealership. Through the dealership, you will find the car of your choice that will befit your family, you may find the financing process, and probably other things involved to have the car in your garage.
However, the dealership is an important aspect to critically investigate when purchasing a family car. The dealership might have been known to you for a while, but you haven’t gotten a car from him yet.
It is important to source information about the dealership to know if it is the right company to deal with. Look into the dealership website and check the reviews from the previous clients, contact any of the dealership previous clients to source for more information.
You can also check the dealership rating on the websites that rate dealers.
BUDGET FOR THE CAR
The family budget can be one of the most important things that can affect the choice of a family car especially when you have a growing family.
If you have saved enough fund for the car, then budgeting isn’t one of the things to worry about when buying a family car. Since cash is not often available, so it is important to determine what percentage of the monthly income will go into the car budget without taking the family to the brink.
A broadly accurate principle is that you spend less than 15% of your monthly income on vehicle expenses such as loan repayment, maintenance, insurance premiums, fuel, licensing fees and so on. You might need to include miscellaneous such as parking tickets.
It is important to have some money saved when buying a family car even thou you are getting the car on a loan; car loan may not cover car registration which is a necessity once you purchase the car.
A necessary plan should be put in place in your budget before purchasing the car, ensure the percentage that the car monthly total will take from your monthly earnings will not drive you into the brink and ensure you stick to the set budget.
OBTAIN A CAR THIEF LIST
No one can protect you like yourself, some car brands are the target for criminals, buying such a brand as a family car may be too risky.
You can assume that insurance will cover you should the car got stolen but will that be resolved in a day! Likewise, most insurance companies will charge more on brands that high theft risk.
Don’t you think prevention is better than finding a solution later? Obtain car theft list from insurance companies and police station and check for brands that are vulnerable then, avoid such brands.
GET THE CAR TITLE
The car title is what will prove that you are the real owner of the car. The car title will entail all necessary information about the car such as the car identification number (VIN), the vehicle weight class, the odometer reading at the date of purchase, your full name and address.
It is important to be very careful and sensitive when it comes to a car title. If there is no lien on the title of a used car, the title is expected to be with the dealership so, in no occasion should you fall for any trick.
Ensure the title of the car is available and if it is a used car, ensure the transfer of ownership is done immediately.
CHECK THE WARRANTY
Under normal circumstances, you are not expected to assume anything; you have to read all the information about the car. Take note of this important thing if you are buying a used car “Certified Used Car” as it implies that the car is covered by a warranty from the manufacturer.
Another thing you should take note is the sticker “as is”. Once you saw this, it is evidence that the car is totally your responsibility once you started driving it. Even if the dealership promises to be responsible for any form of repair, he is not bonded by any law. Therefore, this might be an empty promise.
“Certified Used Car” may be invalid if the age of the car has exceeded four years so, you should be sure if the car is also covered by a third-party warranty. It is important that you do all the necessary calculation to ensure that you don’t end up paying a huge amount for repairs should the car break down.
GET QUOTES FROM SEVERAL DEALERS
You know the specification of the car that you want and probably you’ve seen it somewhere and gotten a price from a dealer, but you can’t be so sure that is the best price for the car.
To avoid overpaying for the car, it is important to visit different dealers to get a quote for the car, it is not a must you visit all the dealers, you can request for their quote through their website. Through that, you will be able to negotiate with the dealer with the best price.
RUN A VEHICLE HISTORY REPORT
Apart from assessing the mechanical status of the car, it is important to assess the full history of the car. This has been made simple as there several companies that specialize in offering such service; Auto check is a perfect example, through their service, you will get a full history of the vehicle.
This is considered one of the important things to look for when buying a family car because some cars may have a salvage title and might have been declared lost by an insurance company. Also, you will be able to know the status of the odometer, location and other things about the car that are not visible to the eyes.
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
You do not need to spend your money blindly, ask the salesman question based on what you get from the history of car, also, ask questions that are not provided in the history of the vehicle and through that, you will be able to get full details about the car and the sincerity of the salesman.
Be sure that you know if other fees will be included apart from the price of the car so that you won’t end up paying some fees that you will later regret when the car finally become yours.
CREATE A TEST-DRIVE CHECKLIST
The exterior and the interior of the car are cool, right? You’ve checked all the parts including the engine to see if the new ride is cool for you right? Well, testing a car is beyond kicking the tires. It is time to fully test drive the car and does not forget to drive with a friend so that he can point out things you are omitting.
Before the ignition of the car engine, check and know the oil gauge and water level and make sure you recheck after the drive to see how far they are drained.
Take note of the sound, the tires, and response of the brakes, the seat comfort, the sound system, the air conditioner, the speedometer and other parts of the car.
Request to take the car home to see if it will fit into your garage and also drive it at night to see the light system.
KNOW THE FEES AND RUNNING COSTS
Whether you are financing the car through a car loan or you have saved enough cash to purchase the car, additional purchase costs and the post-purchase cost will be incurred by you. Feel free to ask the salesman the breakdown of the total purchase fees as most salesmen always hide some fees until after their client has signed the paper and won’t be left with any other choice than to pay.
Also, the maintenance and running cost such as fuel costs are vital, and this can easily be estimated once you know the car consumption rate and your average miles travel in a month.
You can as well ask your seller for maintenance record to have an insight of what you are likely to spend on the car in the future. Although the result from the past does not mean future result rather, you will have an idea of what to expect from the car in term of maintenance.
KNOW THE INVOICE PRICE
The real invoice of the car is the one the dealer used to get the car from the manufacturer. Some dealers like to overcharge but knowing the invoice will help you in your negotiation and help you to know if you qualify for any discount, rebate, dealer holdback or any form of incentive from the manufacturer.
LOOK INTO THE MANUFACTURER’S WEBSITE FOR REBATES
Rebate is totally different from discounts; rebate is a direct incentive from the manufacturer of the car channel through the dealership to the buyer which drastically reduces how much the buyer pay to get the car.
There is a possibility of rebate on the type of vehicle you want to purchase but you have to check the manufacturer website since this might not be disclosed by the dealership. If you fail to do your homework, the rebate is likely to be an additional commission to the dealer.
KNOW THE RIGHT TIME TO PURCHASE
There are certain periods when you can get your vehicle at a cheaper price. For instance, during the anniversary of a car manufacturing company, there is a possibility to be a rebate on all their brands. Also, December is an ideal month to purchase your vehicle; most dealers will want to sell off old models to give room for new models in the next year. There is likely to be a reduction in the prices to attract buyers.
End of the month is not also a bad time to get a car, most salesmen work with monthly target and they are likely to reduce their commission to meet up with their target.
INSPECTED THE CAR
You may be satisfied with the test drive you did, the report of the car history may be satisfactory, the dealer may have conducted the inspection of the car but that shouldn’t be enough to convince you, hire an expert for to do the inspection on your behalf, the cost should be between $50 and $150.
Ask the person to check underneath of the car to see if there are any damages that are not visible to you so that it can be taking care of by the dealer before the vehicle become your responsibility.
$150 may seem to be much but it won’t be as much the risk of buying a half damage vehicle. Regardless of any check conducted by the dealership, this inspection is very vital.
GET A SECOND OPINION
Because you like the car does not mean you have to buy it, especially if that is your first family car, you may be naïve about so many things.
It is not a bad idea to seek the opinion of your relative who is an expert. Your relative will always want the best for you and you cannot compare his suggestion to what the dealer will tell you. If no relative is available, seek the advice of an impartial party even if you have to pay for the service.
There is no monopoly of knowledge and suggestion from an expert can save you a lot of money in the future.
It is a compulsory thing for all contemporary cars to abide the regulation that governs vehicular safety, there are several models built with adequate safety features and that’s what you should look for when purchasing a family car.
You must ensure that all necessary safety features such as airbags, antilock brakes, blind-spot notification systems, stability and traction control, lane-departure alerts, and many more. Remember the vehicle most time will convey your family and you must ensure 100% safety of your family.
If you don’t want a higher percentage of your family income to go directly to the gas company, you need to ensure that the car you will purchase for the family is built with high fuel efficiency.
You can as well purchase electric or hybrid cars. However, you must consider all the necessary factors which include purchase cost, average miles travel per month, maintenance before you opt for electric or hybrid cars.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
You know the size of your family, you know how many hours your family spends in the car so when selecting a car for your family, you should select a car that will offer your family total comfort.
Ensure all features that needed for the family to make your family feel comfortable are present in the car.
GET YOUR OWN FINANCING
Majority of car buyer does not have enough cash to purchase the car hence, there is always needing to opt for car finance. Many dealerships will offer to help you obtain finance, but this is something you should not agree to.
Why? Because often time, the dealership will offer you finance for his own interest as you are most likely to be charged higher interest.
Sometimes, it might look like you are getting the best deal but when you break it down; you will discover that you will be paying back an interest enough to get you another smaller car.
To get a better offer that will not create havoc on your finance when paying back, you need to source for the fund without the help of your dealer.
Do you need help?
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