When it comes to buying a car, can you really focus on any one thing? In fact, even the most carefully planned decision will be made futile if the overall experience turns out to be largely unpleasant. A simple conversation with the salesman about available features and the average vehicle price may help the situation, but even then, years-worth of upfront costs (costs unrelated to the value of the car) may creep into the picture. So, how can you have the most enjoyable car buying experience possible?
1. Shopping around. Given the exponential shift in the automotive industry in recent years, consumers are likely to find more resources online than ever before for car shopping. This shift will continue, with websites like this that provide comparison shopping for products from major retailers (for example, Amazon), while their more niche counterparts continue to expand. In this way, the more customers interact with the industry through smart phones, tablets and computers, the more likely they will be to treat the new purchase as a lifelong commitment that will affect how they drive, shop, travel and handle expenses.
Additionally, we found that automotive shopping actually stands as one of the most bookmarked categories on popular search engines like Google and Bing. To put this in perspective, we found that car shopping ranked third on Google, behind search results for diamonds and phones and above search results for auto insurance and payment plans.
2. Car online reviews. Car buyers have come to rely heavily on reviews of cars from real people for information on the experience they are likely to have while driving. And given the millions of reviews currently posted on AutoTrader.com, the industry’s largest dealer-focused online marketplace, we believe these reports are an essential source of comparative shopping tips that helps to inform buyers who are evaluating their desires in the current and future marketplace. For example, Consumer Reports Best Buy report of Car Max, which provides extensive information on the general condition and experience of the vehicle, was a 2017 Best Buy.
3. Car rebates. Often overlooked, many people are unaware that some cars offer multiple options for rebates, and many of the credit offerings offered by dealerships on cars with more than one trim level are limited to certain vehicle recalls, priority purchase and rate perks. By avoiding areas where the numbers are sparse, these components will become more readily available in the coming years. Additionally, consider which vehicles offer additional bonuses with special incentives for hybrids, EV or electric vehicles — a driver’s number one priority in this category is a car that performs like a gasoline car yet has more options and is better for the environment.
4. Manufacturer loyalty. It’s a common concern among prospective car buyers to consider auto manufacturers for warranty coverage, financing arrangements and consumer car care tips that are going to provide benefits over the long term. In fact, they should be addressing these individual concerns that could result in a better buying experience overall. By agreeing to wait for a new model year, a customer can get the next top-of-the-line model and get any promised features. This can also be a great way to grab additional savings when purchasing the car.