It is time to get a new family car. You have done the research, you know what car you want, and you are ready to go to the dealership to test drive and purchase. Whether it will be the whole family that is going to be car shopping, or just you, there are things to do to make family car shopping easier.
Before you go to the car dealership, check their website. See if they have cars that fit your needs. Some you have found a few choices, call the dealership. You want to make sure they still have cars. Sometimes, cars sell and websites have not been updated yet. Sometimes the car could be on loan to another location. This can happen if a dealership owns several car lots in different locations.
If you are bringing the family with you, which I recommend, call the dealership and let them know. Ask them to have the car ready for you. Besides cars being at other dealerships, sometimes, dealerships need to store the cars offsite at another location and it can take, sometimes up to 30 minutes for the car to be ready. Letting the dealership know beforehand can save time and a lot of frustration on your end.
Heading to the Dealership
When car shopping, if you want the easiest and fastest experience, try to visit the dealership on a weekday. The lot tends to be less crowded during the week. If you can make it during the day, that is even better because the lot tends to be much slower during the day. This gives you more time to test the vehicles and to learn about the features.
If possible, you want to bring the family with you when you are car shopping. Over the next few years, you will spend a lot of time in the car. You want to make sure that everyone fits comfortably in the car. Can everyone get in and out easily? Does the car seat fit? Do the seats have the latch system? Is there enough room in the trunk to fit everything you need for the family? There is only one way to see if the vehicle works are to put it to the test.
When you go for the test drive, it is important to have everything you need with you. Have your driver’s license, car insurance and if you are preapproved for a loan, you want to bring that information with. If you have quotes from another dealership, make sure they are in writing, and bring them with you. If you are trying to negotiate the price of a car once you have chosen, you will need these quotes.
As you are looking at the vehicle and trying to decide if it is right for you, think about practical things too. After testing the features and how it drives, check things like, does the car have a spare tire? Is there room for one? if it doesn’t come with one, is there a way to get one?
Another good reason to have the kids there for the test drive is, depending on the age, kids can be brutally honest. If they hate something, or even find it mildly annoying, they are going to let you know.
Sealing the Deal
When doing the paperwork, this is when the dealership will ask about the add-ons. You should know what you want and what you don’t before time. This makes the buying process faster. Make sure there is room in the amount of the loan to cover the extras or that you have the available cash to cover the difference.
Read the paperwork. Mistakes happen. There are typos. If you sign the papers, it is on you. You are helping responsible. Once the paperwork is done, the car is yours and you should be able to drive home with it.