7 Tips for Buying a Vehicle

A Dodge Journey's bottom half is shown in front of a graffiti wall. These are 7 tips for buying a vehicle.

7 Tips for Buying a Vehicle

I’ve always considered myself of a car buff, that’s why I decided to share these tips for buying a vehicle. I’ve always enjoyed learning about fast cars or rugged ones and driving them of course. Then I became a mom and when it came time to purchasing a new vehicle, it was no longer a sports car but, something more practical. So, we went the way of a minivan for a little while but, then we moved up.

While many variables go into making a purchase and with so much competing for information out there, it can be hard. Read on to discover how you can make the best decision for you and your family when it comes to buying a new car.

Let's Get Started!

1. Do Your Research

First thing is first though, make sure you are willing to take some time to do research. Knowing what type of car you’re going to like is a big one.

So knowing the make, model, and the price of the vehicle is ideal. A great place to start is Cars.com, you can find out a lot about the car you are about to purchase. They have a vids and reviews section that is incredibly helpful.

For our family of 4, we wanted to get out of our van and into something a little sportier. Especially since our girls are older and we are no longer having any babies.

We decided on a Dodge Journey that is big enough for all of us and big enough to haul things. Plus, since we travel with my parents often, it is big enough for them too.

2. Set Your Budget

After researching the vehicle you want, knowing how much you want to spend is next. Once you decide a number, stick to it. I know that I decided what features I wanted and what I could live without.

Of course, the features affect the price. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should find out an estimate of the monthly payment and insurance.

Plus, keep in mind you’ll need gas and maintenance too.

3. Look at Both New and Used

After having bought used cars for a long time, I was done with buying used. But, sometimes, your budget may not allow you to get a new car.

Most times, you can find a great price for a used car and if you do your research, you can get one that is almost like new.

Sometimes, you may prefer one year’s model over the new and considering buying a used one can get you what you want at a great price.

4. Don’t Stick to One Dealer

Whether you are buying a new or used car, shopping around will get you a great price. Dealers can stock huge selections at different prices, but, it doesn’t mean their prices are industry competitive.

So, make a few stops and shop around.

By doing this, you’ll get a good feel for the baseline price for the vehicle. Once you know that, you will know what you should be paying for it.

If you’re looking to buy a used car, taking note of the mileage is huge. This not only gives an indicator of the quality of the vehicle but, on what the price will be too.

Go to the dealer, take a look at the mileage with your own eyes, don’t guess. Plus, when a dealer sees you’ve done your homework, you will get the right price.

5. Get In There

Once you’ve visited multiple dealerships and found one that has the car you want. Get in there and go for a test drive. Get the feel of your potential ‘new to you’ vehicle and see if you like it.

Sometimes a car can be everything you want aesthetically but, then when you get behind the wheel, it just isn’t right.

A test drive will help you with this.

6. Don’t Give In

Sometimes we tend to settle or go without some features we were looking for for the sake of price. If you think about it, you’re going to be driving the car for a long time hopefully.

You don’t want to regret not getting the car with the heated seats or power windows, for example.

Pick what are deal breakers for you and what isn’t and go from there. Don’t settle for just the price alone.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate

After all, purchasing a car and closing the deal is a game of negotiation. Don’t be afraid to start with a price that is way below what you want to pay and gain some ground to negotiate.

Also, negotiate on the term of the loan. I know that the prices can be enticing on a 72-month loan but, it’s not always the best deal. Plus, if you’re looking for extras, when it’s time to close the deal is the perfect time to bring them to the table.

Remember, you can always walk away. Just like they say there is plenty of fish in the sea, there are just as many cars in lots.

A family is shown inside a Dodge Journey taking a ride.

Now You’re Ready

These are just 7 tips for buying a vehicle and getting into your dream car. I find the most important thing to do above all is to do your research.

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The fact that you can easily use Cars.com to do this makes your life easier. Believe me!

Do you have a tip when it comes to car shopping?

Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!

The name Nancy is shown with a dandelion fluff on the end of the y.







A Dodge Journey is pictured in front of a graffiti wall, a banner below reads, "How To: 7 Tips for Buying Your Dream Car."

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  1. I appreciate your tips on buying cars, very helpful for some who are still confused. Negotiating is also a good one.

  2. We bought a new vehicle last year and we followed absolutely all of these rules. The biggest one for me was to stay on budget in the biggest one for my husband was to do the right research. We love the car we have in the death of payment price we can afford.

  3. We did our due dillegence before buying our cars too. I think sites like this are a must for anyone in the market.

  4. These are all great tips. It can be so hard when purchasing a vehicle. There are a lot of things to look in to.

  5. I think it’s great to try them out more than once. Your attitude changes from one day to another. And also go try to park it and find out if there’s anything that strikes you weird that would make you not like the car.

  6. I never think to negotiate on a car because I find the whole process a bit overwhelming but that’s a great tip.

  7. These are great tips! I just bought my first new car ever a few months ago. I didn’t get the best price, unfortunately… nor did I get what I walked in wanting to buy! I am happy with my purchase but I wish there were more tips for moms because I know this is something many of us experience. Thank you for this post.

  8. I’m so nervous about making such a huge decision! Thankfully our car seems to be trundling along just fine for now.

  9. My wife has been needing a new car for awhile now and I’ve decided that we have room in our budget to be able to afford this for her. I really liked that you had mentioned that it can be important to decide on a number and stick to it and also take gas and maintenance into account as well when handling things. We’ll have to start talking about it and maybe we can decide on a decent number and then we’ll be able to start looking into vehicles for sale.

  10. Car buying is a big job – lots of time and effort needs to go into research and decision-making. Thanks for the tips.

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