Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tips for buying a car

Some of you may know in May I purchased a new to me car. It was a process. I went from a 1998 to 2010 Rav 4. Yes, I ended up purchasing the same car I had before. I didn't wake up one morning, drive to the dealer and drive a new car home. No -- I researched and researched and test drove a handful of cars. Saturday when I was sharing my experience with a friend, who's in the market, I thought why not share my tips with you.

 My Tips for buying Car

Determine your budget
 Ask yourself -- How much do you want to spent after taxes and registration? How much do you have for a down payment? How much are you willing to pay a month? Are you trading in your car? How much is it worth?

Narrow down the style
 Now that you know how much you're willing/can spend. Hit the web and start researching. Are you in the market for a SUV, maybe a Sedan? Can you realistically buy a brand new car? What about a used car instead? I knew I wanted another SUV and narrowed it down to either a used Nissan or Toyota.

Test Drive
 Once you've narrowed down what type of car/brand you are looking for, head to your local dealer and test drive them. It costs nothing. We made it very clear that we weren't "buying a car today" when we test drove cars.

Research again
Now that you've driven a few cars you probably know what you want -- it's time to start looking. We used to find my used car. It's great because you can really narrow down the search by color, miles, price etc. Once you find "the" car compare the listed price to Kelly Blue Book. You don't want to pay more than the car is worth. Also think about resale value. I also have an awesome dad who helped.

After all your research you are ready to head to the dealer. If you are buying out right awesome, but if you plan to fiance become knowledgeable on loan rates before going to the dealer. I never thought I would get such a low rate on a used car, but approved us for 1.71% ! I'm not kidding. No bank fees, etc. It's usually for folks with bad credit, but when we saw the rate we went for it. Just apply from the comfort of your own home, print out the packet, take it to the dealer, and they'll handle the rest. Don't be afraid to negotiate and if that's not your style try CarMax.

Good Luck! 


  1. Thanks for posting these tips. We are planning on buying in August so I really appreciated this post. I even made some notes!

  2. I went from a 2010 Rav to a 2013 Rav...they are my favorite cars ever...I've had 5 (6 including old rav) cars in my entire driving time...too much? haha

    1. yup,love the Rav and would totally buy another in a few years so I don't have the tire in the back.

    2. Love the Rav. I would totally buy another one in a few years so I don't have the tire in the back.

  3. I'd rather have a tooth pulled than shop for a new car. Ugh! You shared some good tips that should make car shopping less painful though. I think one of the most important things is to get finance before buying a car. That's awesome you got an interest rate less than 2%. Pretty amazing really. I think having your finances lined up before gives you more bargaining power at the dealership.

    p.s. Love your car choice! I've always been a fan of small SUVs. :)

    1. I agree it's not an enjoyable experience, but being prepared makes it way easier.

      Thanks I'm still really happy with my decision.

  4. This is great! My husband and I were thinking briefly of buying a car instead of pouring money into our old car, but determined that we couldn't do it at this time. That is part of make sure you know your budget! haha!!!

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