For the past year we have been putting cash into a savings account to purchase a different vehicle. We hit our target dollar amount at the end of April so we could start the search for our next vehicle. Doesn't that sound crazy to pay cash for a vehicle? It can be done and it feels awesome!
Would you like someone to show you how to save cash for a vehicle? I can help!
During the search process I avoided calling or stopping in at dealerships once I realized they will request your name, phone number, and the birthdays of all your family members (okay, I'm exaggerating a little). I've been in sales so I understand they want to follow up in hopes to make the sale. If you call or stop in every dealership in your area they will most certainly want to keep in touch with you.
Searching on the Internet for vehicles worked really well in my case. The websites I used were Car Soup, Autotrader and local dealership sites. There are many other options out there to use for car searches but I didn't check them out this time.
After doing research I narrowed down my top two choices of crossovers. I searched for vehicles within my budget and didn't even take a glance at something outside my price range. This is very important!!! Let's say you have a budget of $15,000 but for fun you look at vehicles worth $20,000. At first it's just out of sheer curiosity as to what an additional $5,000 could get you. That curiosity then grows into a want and from there morphs into something that feels like you need to have it. Now the $15,000 vehicle no longer feels good enough for you. I'll say it again...stick with searching for vehicles within your budget!
We got lucky and found a vehicle close to home. My husband and I went to test drive the vehicle and new it was the one we wanted to purchase. During the paperwork process the sale person offered us some additional options and features like extended warranty and other maintenance plans. Do your research prior to purchasing to help you decide if the extra items are necessary. They can be quite costly and put you over your car budget! We personally didn't want any of the other features as we have a monthly budget for car repair to cover those costs.
In my previous job I was a "negotiator" so of course I wasn't going to purchase a vehicle without negotiating the price and terms. Don't feel bad to ask if they can discount the price a little or throw in a full tank of gas. The car dealerships get asked these questions quite often from buyers. Be realistic with your offer or they might just walk away and keep the keys.
One last comment...be ready to walk away without the keys if something doesn't feel right about the vehicle or the dealership. For example, if you love the vehicle but once you sit in the driver's seat you realize the seats are really uncomfortable. Or if you get a bad vibe from the sales person, maybe you want to ask for someone else or go to a different dealership. Don't let your emotional attachment to the vehicle get in the way of making the right purchase for you!
I would love to hear your personal experiences with buying a vehicle.