The car buying checklist – what you should consider when buying a new or used car
When buying a new car, many people imagine their dream before they even buy it, driving down the country road towards the sunset. You can almost feel the key in your hand and the salesman congratulating you. But when you get down to reality, some people regret their decision later. However, if you don’t want to regret your car purchase later, you should never buy a new car on the spur of the moment and consult our car buying checklist advice beforehand.
The car buying checklist – 10 useful tips you should keep in mind when buying a car
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1. Nothing works without a test drive
The first item on our car buying checklist is actually a no-brainer. A test drive will give you a better feeling of how good the car you want to buy really is and if it suits you. You may like the look of it, but after driving it a few miles, you may find that it’s not as comfortable as you imagined or that it’s just not ding.
If you are planning to buy a used car, the test drive becomes even more important, as you need to make sure it doesn’t have any funny noises or other surprises in store for you. Probably this won’t be a problem when buying a new car, but to ease your conscience you should take them for a spin beforehand.
2. Compare prices online
one of the most important things you should do before buying a car is to compare prices. Thank goodness you can do this quickly online. You will be surprised how often the same model can be found at a lower price somewhere else.
Even those car purchase little idea should have here no problems to find the best offers because the sites such as mobile or autoscout have simplified so that it is a piece of cake to find the best offer.
Through these price comparisons, many car sellers are willing to adjust the price of their vehicles so that they can compete with a comparable vehicle that is available at a better price elsewhere.
For this reason, knowing the market prices and showing a comparative offer will put you in a better negotiating position and can have a high impact on the final price.
3. Talk to your insurance agent before you buy the car
Before you buy a new car, you should talk to your insurance agent about it. The reason for this is that you need to know in advance what your insurance costs will be.
The additional costs such as a car insurance can be an expensive side matter, which one pays little attention before the purchase. If you have found the right car for you, then give your insurance agent all the relevant data and let him calculate the insurance for the vehicle.
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Important: do not compromise when it comes to your insurance!
If you buy a new car, you should never do without fully comprehensive insurance. If this exceeds your budget, don’t buy the car and look for an alternative!
When it comes to buying a used car, there is a common belief that if a vehicle is more than five years old, you don’t need comprehensive insurance, but this varies from case to case. There are used cars that are still selling for five figures or more after 5 years. If this is the case, then you should not do without a fully comprehensive insurance.
4. Don’t let yourself be talked into anything you don’t really need and want
the next point of our car buying checklist is about the equipment of your car and what you really need.
In car dealerships they often try to sell expensive accessories or special equipment that you don’t really need, but which will increase the price of the car considerably
Ask yourself: do you really need the big navigation system, although you are only driving in the city, the expensive leather upholstery, although you can also use cloth seats, or the parking heater, although your car is parked in the garage in winter??
Even if your answer is "yes", you should assume that you will not always be offered the best deal. If you feel that the salesman is trying to push something on you, your inner alarm bells should start ringing.
some sellers try to hide the real cost of add-on options in small monthly amounts. Don’t get talked into anything. Get out your calculator and work out how much these additional options will cost you in the end.
5. What should it be? shifter or automatic
What do you prefer automatic or manual? If you’re not familiar with how to drive a car with an automatic transmission, it may not be the best time to switch (unless you’re really ready to make the switch).
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If you are going to buy a car with an automatic transmission, you should have driven it before and know how to use it. Not that you can be carried away in a spontaneous purchase and regret it afterwards.
You should also include in your car buying checklist the fact that cars with automatic transmissions cost more than manual transmissions and that they consume more fuel than manual transmissions in the long run. One thing can not be dismissed from the hand. Cars with automatic transmission are comfortable and convenient and once you get used to it, you usually don’t want to switch back to manual transmission.
6. Gasoline, diesel or electric car?
After the diesel scandal, particulate matter pollution and e-cars, the question of the right fuel for the next car should not be missing from any good car-buying checklist.
All three types of cars are very different. While discussing each individual in detail is beyond the scope of this article, a few traits should still be discussed.
Diesel vehicles are the more cost-effective solution when it comes to driving long distances every day. If you drive less than 50 kilometers per day, the opposite may be true, as diesel cars are more expensive to buy and pay taxes on compared to gasoline cars.
Pure electric vehicles are not yet worthwhile for most drivers because the purchase costs are still too high, the charging stations are not yet available everywhere, and with the range it is also such a thing. If this changes in the next few years as it has been predicted for a long time, electric cars can become a real alternative to diesel and gasoline.
If you want to know how to save money while driving, read our guide: how to save money on gas and fuel while driving – 20 tips and tricks
7. Do not succumb to the pressure of the car salesman.
Buying a new car is an experience full of adventure and emotion. Letting yourself go emotionally for a while is fine, as long as you don’t compromise your own judgment in the process. So if you feel pressured by the salesperson, take a step back and reevaluate the situation. Chances are good that he is trying to get more for the dealership than for you.
Don’t be too friendly and compliant in this case, but don’t be rude either. walk the fine line between friendliness and assertiveness and put on your poker face when necessary.
Always remember that you always have the option to walk away without feeling bad if you think you are being offered a bad deal.
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8. Which engine do you really need?
When it comes to finding the right car and saving money, the topic of the engine must not be missing from the car buying checklist. Of course, cars with lots of power and a big engine are more appealing and fun to drive. But you shouldn’t let fun be the only thing that guides you when buying a new car. At some point you get used to the performance, the fun is gone but the costs remain.
So if your decision is about the engine, you should go for a sensible alternative. You should have enough power to overtake on the highway without problems and without breaking a sweat. You certainly don’t need the motoring flagship of the car line you’ve chosen for your everyday life.
A good choice at this point is certainly a motorization from the midfield. Not quite weak on the chest but also not a race car.
9. After the purchase is before the purchase – what about depreciation and resale value??
As a rule, new cars are not a good investment, as their value decreases quickly after purchase. However, cars from some manufacturers have a higher resale value than others.
If you plan to drive your new car only for a certain period of time (usually 3 to 5 years), then you should find out in advance what resale value you can expect. How stable is the value of the brand you want to buy.
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10. Used car or new car.
While we are on the subject of new cars and resale value. Are you sure it has to be a new car?? You can really save money if you buy a young used car with few miles on the clock. New cars lose in the first year approx. 25% of their value and are only worth half of their new price after 3 years. More information about the depreciation of new cars can be found here .
Should you not necessarily insist on a new car then look around once on the used car market.
11. Make sure that everything is original!
When buying a used car, you should make sure that parts such as wheels or radios are original. Non-original parts reduce the value of a vehicle and if you resell the car yourself at some point, it could fall flat on your face.
Today, fewer parts are replaced than in the past, but especially with cars in the high-priced segment, you should make sure that the original wheels are used. Some salesmen know that they also make a good business with them can and give cheap wheels instead of the original ones with.
You can recognize an original rim because of the part number on the back of the rim (consisting of numbers and letters or just numbers) and the brand logo of the car manufacturer is stamped on it.
you can easily recognize non-original rims by a KBA number which is often found on the front of a rim.
if you are interested in more tips on how to save money, please read our guide on how to save money in the home