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Helpful Hints for Car Shopping

December 13, 2015 Hastings and Hastings

We have been talking a lot this month about the ins and outs of the insurance industry. We have talked about shopping around for coverage and minimizing costs. Well, what good is all that information if you don’t even own a car! Today we will go over some helpful hints you should keep in mind when you are shopping for a car, whether it be new or used!

Budget and Bottom Line

The first thing you need to do when you are in the market for a new car, is to establish a budget. As a general rule of thumb, you should allocate no more than 20 percent of your total household budget to the cost of owning and maintaining a vehicle. Every expense associated with owning a car needs to be factored into this 20 percent, including the cost of repairs, gas, and oil changes. This will help you gain focus during the shopping process.

Know your Needs and Narrow your Focus

There are hundreds of different types of cars out there. This can make shopping for one seem like an overwhelming task. Narrow down your focus and look closely at only 3-5 specific vehicles. You can do this by writing down your needs. Do you need a large trunk? Is 4-wheel drive a necessity? Go down the list. Once you have answered these questions, the scope of your search will be dramatically reduced.

Negotiate with Confidence and Shop Around

Spend time doing extensive research before you even set foot in a dealership. The more you know about the average price of the vehicle you might be buying, the better equipped you will be to negotiate from a place of strength. Never fall in love with a car before you buy it. Know there are always other options out there.