New Car Buying Guide: Getting the Right Car at the Right Price
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New Car Buying Guide: Getting the Right Car at the Right Price

Are you looking to buy a new car? Do you feel overwhelmed by new vehicle features? Does negotiating a good price seem complicated? These tips will help clear up the confusion, so you get a car that fits your needs at a good price.

When is the Best Time to Buy a Car? 

You’ll get the biggest discounts on an old model that’s stuck on the lot. If you don’t mind having last year’s model, start looking around October and November when new vehicle shipments will be plentiful. You also may get a better deal at the end of the month as the dealership tries to meet sales figures.

You might get a little better deal shopping on a weekday, but the biggest benefit to shopping during the week comes when you try to secure a loan. Applying while banks are open will make it easier to get approved, especially if you have less than stellar credit.

What Should I Do Before Visiting a Dealer?

Check car review sites to get an overview of each model and check the IIHS and NHTSA sites for crash tests and safety information. Automaker web sites will let you build and price the car you want, and then find vehicles with those options at local dealers.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, get some estimates from your insurance company. You may be surprised how different rates can be between models.

Should I Lease or Buy?

If you don’t drive much and like to get a new car every three years or fewer, a lease may be a better deal. This is especially true of luxury cars as depreciation can easily out-pace what you owe on a loan. If you plan on keeping a car for several years or drive more than 12,000 miles per year, buying is almost always a better option.

Where Should I Get My Loan?

You may see a great advertised rate at the dealer, but chances are you won’t qualify for the best terms. Getting a pre-approved loan before you set foot in the door gives you a good idea of how much you can spend, and it gives you some leverage if there’s a chance of getting a better deal through the dealership.

How Can I Get the Most from the Test Drive?

If you can, schedule the test drive ahead of time so you can drive the exact car you want to buy. Drive the car during the day so you can get a good look at the outside of the vehicle as well as any controls you may be unfamiliar with.

Simulate your regular driving experience as closely as possible. If you regularly carry large objects around like baby seats, golf clubs or dog carriers, bring them with you to see if they’ll fit the cargo area. Better still, bring the people you’ll travel with: it’s better to find out now that your kids can’t fit in the back than after you buy the vehicle.

Do you keep your car in a garage? Measure the space you have and compare it with the vehicle, so you can be sure it fits.

If you don’t think a few minutes behind the wheel will give you a good impression of the vehicle, ask if you can borrow the car for a couple hours or overnight.

Always take notice of first impressions. A little annoyance on a short drive can quickly turn into a major issue when you have to live with a vehicle day to day.

If the salesperson makes a suggestion, listen to them. You might be able to get a deal on a nicer vehicle or even find a different model or trim that will better fit your needs while spending less.

What Safety Features Should I Look For?

The most effective safety to reach the market is automatic emergency braking. It can react faster than a human driver, preventing accidents and reduces impact speeds, making injuries and collision repair damage less severe.

Adaptive headlights use individual lighting elements that adjust to keep from blinding oncoming drivers while giving you the best view possible. That means you can still see animals and traffic off to the right side of your vehicle without blinding drivers on your left.

Drowsiness alert can detect when you’re getting tired and warn you before you fall asleep behind the wheel. While it may not be useful for all drivers, it can be a lifesaver if you regularly drive long distances or work long hours.

Repairing the Latest Technology 

When you need body work for your new car, bring it to Merton Auto Body. We’re an I-CAR Gold Class certified shop, which means our technicians are constantly learning new repair techniques to keep up with changing vehicle designs. We also have an auto body estimating center and on-staff appraiser to get work approved by your insurance company quickly. Visit our website to schedule a free online estimate or stop by our convenient Sussex, WI location. We proudly service the Waukesha County and surrounding Lake Country area including Pewaukee, Delafield, Hartland, and Oconomowoc.

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