With so many vehicle options on the market today, car shopping can be stressful. There’s so many dealerships, models and features to consider—not to mention payment methods.
We’ve created a guide to help you on your search for your next new car, from research at the beginning to closing the deal at the end. Read on for our 10 tips for buying a new vehicle.
1. Know the best month to buy
Most dealerships have deals on the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) in December. The MSRP, in other words, is the sticker price of the vehicle. Many dealerships have MSRP deals in December but they’ll most likely be on models from the previous year that they want to clear out. If you’re hoping for more selection, October or November could be a better time to buy.
2. Research, research, research
Before you even visit a lot, do your research. Look for vehicles that interest you and compare costs and features. Edmunds is a great resource for researching vehicle specs and most dealership sites provide detailed descriptions of vehicle features, including pictures. You can also explore RightRide’s inventory which pulls from over 50 dealerships across Canada.
3. Contact a dealership
Once you’ve got an idea of the vehicle you want, schedule an appointment for a test drive. This visit should focus on getting a feel for the vehicle—not closing a deal. When you go for the test drive, or if the car is delivered to you to test drive while social distancing, try different speeds and terrain if you can. Think about how comfortable you feel, how spacious the vehicle is and look through the tech features. This is a great time to ask questions and gather as much information as you can.
4. Get pre-approved for a loan
Getting pre-approved for a loan will give you a good idea of what you can afford in a vehicle. With RightRide, it’s easy to apply. Here’s what you have to do:
- Select the type of vehicle you want
- Tell us your ideal monthly budget
- Enter basic information including employment, residential and contact details
- Hit submit!
With RightRide, you can safely apply online while social distancing. Once you get pre-approved, our team will contact you.
5. Pay what you can afford
At this point in your search, you’ll know what you’re working with and can evaluate if you’re able to afford the vehicle you want. Try to find a vehicle that fits all your boxes but don’t spend beyond your means—it’s important to be realistic with what you can actually afford.
6. If you have a trade-in, discuss your options
If you have a vehicle to trade in, do your research beforehand so you know what your car’s worth. You can use it as a leveraging tool as that car will be put towards your payment of a new one. You can try Edmunds’ tool to calculate the value of your vehicle.
7. Compare vehicle prices
Once you have a vehicle in mind, reach out to different dealerships to get their asking price. You can use the lowest one to leverage the price from the seller you go with—it’s a smart move to ask them to beat the price. While you’re asking around, make sure to ask about the vehicle “extras” like maintenance plans or extended warranty. Most of these costs aren’t included in the sticker price so it’s a good idea to inquire.
8. Compare financing rates
If you’re planning on financing your vehicle, compare interest rates, the monthly payment and the value of your trade-in (if you’re doing so). This is another piece of the puzzle you can ask about when you contact dealers.
9. Make the purchase
By this point, you’ve researched the vehicle, taken a test drive, compared financing rates and you have a price in mind. After you’ve negotiated, now it’s time to sign on the dotted line!
Many dealerships will deliver the paperwork to you to reduce contact while you are social distancing, either by mail or electronically. Make sure you review the contract in detail, or even better, have the sales consultant walk you through it over the phone. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions so you fully understand what you are signing.
10. Have the car delivered
Have your new vehicle delivered to your door to avoid contact while social distancing. Take a look inside and make sure it’s clean. If you aren’t meeting in person, have your sales consultant explain how to use the vehicle’s tech features over the phone. If you have any last-minute questions, this is a great time to have them answered.
If you’re ready to apply for a vehicle loan, fill out our easy online application. Once you’re pre-approved, our team will help you determine a monthly payment that fits your budget and your lifestyle, so you can get driving the right way.