4 Common Car Shopping Mistakes to Avoid for First-Time Buyers

Automakers sold an astounding 17.1 million cars in 2019. With figures like that, there’s a lot of room for error. You’re putting a lot on the line—money, time, resources, and your future—certain problems could be detrimental.

As a first-time car buyer beginning the search for your new car, keep in mind these 4 common car shopping mistakes before going to a dealership and negotiating the cost of your new ride.

1. Focusing Too Much On the Price

Comparing car prices is a key part of the shopping process. However, getting caught up on the price could keep you away from the car you really want and it adds stress to an already stressful situation. Dealerships allow you to use different ways to pay for your car, such as financing or with car loans.

2. Not Taking Advantage of Special Offers

Many car dealerships offer special incentives to bring customers in the door and make sure they drive away happy. You may be able to get a lower monthly payment or receive a limited time warranty with special offers.

3. Skipping the Test Drive

Or, not doing everything you should while you’re behind the wheel. Keep in mind, this is potentially the car you will have for the foreseeable future. You’ll want to investigate everything.

Examine the exterior of the car for damage: windshield, body, tires/tread. When you start the car, don’t immediately pull off the lot. Listen to the sound of the engine for a few moments. Is it making any unusual sounds?

Are any warning lights lit up on the dashboard? These are potential problems, especially with used cars, that some salespeople downplay the significance of even if they could cost you a lot of money down the road to fix.

Ideally, you will be able to take the car somewhere open and free of many other drivers for some of these tests. Test the breaks: if you need to come to an abrupt stop at a high speed, how will the car react? Try making sharp turns and looking for potential blind spots.

If you’re able to, take the car on the highway. The car should accelerate quickly and smoothly and the steering wheel should not pull to either side of the road without your influence. Switch lanes a few times to see where your blind spots are and how well you can maneuver the vehicle in traffic.

Assess how you feel in the car overall. What do you and don’t you like about it? Specifying your tastes helps your salesperson find new cars for you to try out.

4. Failing To Shop Around

Car shopping is no one’s favorite hobby, but that doesn’t mean you should by the first car you see. It’s not an impulse decision. After doing your research online looking into cars or specific features you’re interested in, look for a reputable dealer.

Importantly, you want to work with a salesperson you trust. If the dealership you are at is giving you bad vibes or you aren’t comfortable negotiating, try somewhere else. If you know what you are looking for in your new car, it shouldn’t be hard to find the right new and pre-owned car dealerships.

Steer Clear Of These Car Buying Mistakes

As a first-time car buyer, you’re bound to make some mistakes. But, armed with this new knowledge you can avoid making these car shopping mistakes and get a great new ride. If you are in the greater Lynchburg, VA area check out Terry Volkswagen.

Our VW dealership serves drivers from Forest to Timberlake, VA, and everywhere in between. Whether you’re searching for a new car, or need a reliable and affordable service team for your current vehicle, we’re ready to assist you.