Thursday, September 16, 2010

Top 5 Common Vehicle Purchasing Mistakes

Purchasing a vehicle can be a fun and adventurous, but you need to take a few steps back and make sure you don't break the cardinal rules of buying a vehicle. the list below will give you a good look at the first 5 common mistakes seen when purchasing a vehicle.

1. Ignoring your needs. To paraphrase the immortal words of Mick Jagger, you can't always get what you want, but at least in the realm of cars, you're much better off with what you need. Sure, SUVs are all the rage, but do you need one to drive the mile and a half to bingo every Sunday? Is that racy red sports car really the best choice for your long drive to and from school?

2. "This is a business transaction," points out Paul Calisi, president of the AAA of New York's Auto Buying Program. "If you fall in love with a car, be sure not to overreact and get too anxious. Give yourself some time to sit back and make sure it's the car for you." In short, don't let your heart rule your head -- it can lead to aching in both body parts. Also, keep a grasp on reality. If you can afford $20,000 and the object of your affection lists for $30,000, you might be able to negotiate it down to, say, $27,000; but there's no way you're going to be able to buy it for $20,000 unless there's a $7,000 rebate.

3. Bad research and no research. Buying a car is not rocket science, but you could compare it to a high school term paper. To do it right, you've got some homework ahead of you. The good news is that with the advent of the Internet, a world of information -- never available to our parents and grandparents -- is just a click away. And usually for free. Resources such as Kelley Blue Book, and provide tons of information on pricing, rebates, holdback incentives, options, packages, interest rates, negotiating techniques, reviews, forums and much more. Walking onto a dealer's lot with no information is like walking into the lion's den. And relying on a dealer for information is just slightly better.

4. Picking the most conveniently located dealership. No, they're not all the same -- not even for the same exact makes and models. Ask around -- learn from friends' experiences. Also, determine your seller's C.S.I. (Customer Service Index), which is a ranking generally maintained by automakers for the dealerships that sell their vehicles. The C.S.I. is a reflection of how well an individual dealer satisfies its customers both in terms of sales and service. "You can also check dealerships with the Better Business Bureau," points out Mondin. Find the BBB on the Web.

5. Going by payment, rather than price. This is an easy mistake to make, since most of us budget, and therefore think, in terms of monthly figures rather than going by grand totals -- and gee, paying only $400 per month sure sounds better than, say, $500, even if the car payments do drag on a bit longer with the former. But you've done yourself no favor in getting the dealer to agree to the lower figure. Why? Because the dragged-out loan means more interest charges for you -- and more profit for the seller. In short, keep an eye on the long-term total, not just the monthly payouts.

There you have the first 5 common mistakes made when purchasing a vehicle, but stay tuned as 5 more will beheading your way this week. Do you have some words of advice for people wanting to purchase a vehicle? give us a shout and let us know what you think!

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