Shopping for a new car is exciting and stressful all at once. A vehicle is a pretty big and long-term investment, which means that it’s crucial that you make the right decision. No pressure, right?

Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks to help you shop smarter when you’re looking for a new car. Here are 5 steps to take to help you through it.

Budget For Every Expense

Only considering what the actual vehicle itself is going to cost is counterproductive. Unfortunately, car ownership comes with a load of other expenses that you’ll need to factor in, such as gas, maintenance, insurance and keeping it clean every month.

Remember to factor each of these expenses into your car-buying budget before settling on a maximum-spend limit. There are also ways to keep these expenses to a minimum too. You can compare car insurance quotes to find the best possible deal, choose a more fuel-efficient car make and decide to wash your car at home to save money.

Know What You Want & Need

Having a clear idea of what specs and features you want out of your car before you set foot in a dealership is important. If you’re not specific about what you’re looking for, salespeople will be able to persuade you to spend more than you need to get something with a higher spec than what’s actually necessary.

Take a look at your lifestyle and driving habits, your budget and your personal wants. This will help you narrow your decision down to what type of car you need, size, power, safety features and other extras you might want or need.

Do Your Research

Once you know what you’re looking for, do some research and find a few brands and models that catch your eye. You could look at resources like these car reviews assisted by AI technology and compare different cars in terms of their features and prices to see if you can narrow down your options to a few vehicles you know you like and will fit within your budget.

You’ll also need to decide between getting a new or used vehicle, which is something you might want to discuss with a salesperson once you’ve decided on a model.

Shop Around

Don’t sell yourself to a dealership straight off the bat. Once you know the make and model you’re after and have decided whether you want to buy new or used, you can shop around between dealerships (and private sellers) to find the best deal.

You might be able to find the exact same car at far lower prices if you take some time to look at your different options.

Negotiate For Better Deals

If you see something you like but have a feeling you’re being overcharged for it, don’t be afraid to voice that and try to negotiate for a better deal.

Salespeople are usually more than willing to help you find the best deal with the best options for you with different warranty and service plan options. If you see better deals at other places, ask the salesperson you’re working with to match the price or take your business elsewhere.

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