9 Essential Steps to Buying a New Car

happy car salesman handshaking with middle aged buyer

While used cars are definitely cheaper, nothing beats the feel and smell of a brand new car. Remember that you’re going to use your car almost on a daily basis for a long time. Rather than save money now, it’s almost always best to opt for a new car now and save money in the long run. If you’re ready to drive off with your new car, here are 9 essential steps to help with your buying decision without getting ripped off.


Like with any important purchases or investment, you cannot shop around without prior knowledge about what you’re getting into. Whatever budget you have or style you prefer, research is imperative. If possible, aim to know everything you need to know about cars. From car models to financing and insurance, it’s important to do your homework beforehand.

Compare Cars

Obviously, one of the most important things to research on is the type of car suitable for your needs and budget. If you want a sedan, for example, you need to focus your energy on comparing different sedan options available in the market. Try Google and you’ll have an extensive amount of resources right at your fingertips.

Seek recommendations

Once you have a top 3 or top 5 list, the next step is to seek recommendations from family, friends or anyone you know with similar cars. After all, nothing beats good old fashion recommendation from regular car owners who love their ride.

Set Your Budget

To further narrow down your options, it’s now time to define your budget. If you’re not buying the car upfront, setting up a budget can be a tricky business. You’ll have to think about monthly payments, financing options, fees and taxes. Take your time when at this point of the buying process. The trick is to avoid overestimating what you can afford to avoid complications later on.

Get Approved for Financing

As soon as your budget’s set, you’ll now need some type of financing to buy your new car. It is recommended to seek for pre-approval if possible so you’ll have a better idea what type financing and interest rate you’ll qualify for. Speak with your bank, credit union or any type of lender you plan to tap on.

Get Quotes

With your financing ready and approved, you can start contacting at least three dealerships and avail of their free quotes. Since you’ve done your preliminary research, you should have a fairly good idea how much your car choice costs. When you receive your quotes, compare and decide from there.

Negotiate the Price

Before you finalize the deal, be prepared to put your negotiating skills to the test. Remember that dealerships or private sellers have already added their commission to the price. You can still bargain some more to slash off the total cost of your new car. Before you do, make sure you know you have an idea of the price your dealership paid for the car for effective bargaining.

Test Drive

You’re almost ready to complete the deal. But first you need to put your research to the test by test driving your car. This can make or break your buying process. In any case, the key point is to make sure you absolutely like the feel of your car before signing any dotted line.

Seal the deal

Provided that the test drive went smoothly and everything’s already in place, the final and last step to buying a new car is to sign the deal. Get the necessary paperwork done so you can start enjoying your new car.

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