It may well be time to upgrade your car this year, just as you would upgrade your rented home if you needed an extra bedroom! January may not be an easy month for car sales, as this is the month right after Christmas, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still buy a car this year. Making sure that you have a budget to work with for your car is important before you go to the dealerships. The last thing that you want is to get to a dealer and find out that your budget is too low, or your new insurance cost is too much for your budget, too. Everyone negotiates when they get to a dealership – it’s expected that you won’t pay sticker price if you can avoid it!

Taking the time to understand what it takes to buy a car from a dealership is important if you want to drive away with a car that you know you’ll love. Researching your brands and car types is as important as learning the best time of year to buy. What do you want your car for? Is it for work or for pleasure? Do you need a two-seater slick ride or do you need a car that fits three car seats for the kids? Every single thing that you have going on in your life is going to directly affect the decision that you make about your car. If you have a penchant for long journeys, then you’re going to want a big enough trunk space for all your luggage and emergency bags. If you travel a lot for work, you’re going to want to choose a brand that will impress your clients.

The goal is to ensure that you are able to be on the road and looking good – and you want cheap car insurance to go with it! Insurance costs are among the considerations that you need to make when you are on the road and buying a car, but there are so many other things that will matter when you make your purchase.

Do Your Research. This is so important before you part with any more money. You have to research your brand in detail, research your car insurance and research the costs it will take to run the car in the first place. You also need to know exactly the questions that you should be asking when you meet a car dealer. They will be able to take you through everything to do with your car, as well as how you should be insuring it and with which companies. You don’t want to pay out anymore than necessary, including the sticker price of the car. Get your facts straight about horsepower, fuel economy and how much repairs and parts cost for your brand, too.

Talk To The Dealer. You should allow the person selling you the car to do as much of the talking as possible. Car sellers will give you as much information as possible about the car, but they’ll also answer all of your questions for you and ensure that you understand what your car can do. There is every chance that you will be offered the chance to test drive the vehicle and if this is the case, take that opportunity! You should treat the car salesperson like a guard: they’re your person to ask everything you need to know about the car, about the warranties and about what you have to pay for the car and when. If you’re paying for your car outright in cash, you may be able to snare a discount and whittle down the cost.

Leasing? Tread Carefully. It’s nice to be able to stretch out paying for your car, but when you stretch out your finance payments by seven or eight years, you are going to pay a lot more money over time than if you bought your car outright. You also need to make sure that you’re going to love your car for that amount of time, as it’s a long time to own the same car. Think it through carefully before you sign anything; you want to enjoy a car you can afford, not a car you can’t afford and are stuck with!

Ask About Financing. Some dealerships offer financing to people, and those that do can often offer excellent options for cash discounts and 0.0% finance. It can make sense to borrow low interest from the bank over a dealership. Some dealership finance offers are great, but these need to be divided into for long-term insurance information. Some dealership finance options are not the best compared to an independent financier or a bank. The more research you do into finance, the more understanding you have for your options and you’ll know whether you are making the right choice for your budget over time.

Time Your Buy. Did you know that first of the month purchases can be the right call? As the month closes out, sales targets need to be hit and this can lead to better deals at the start of the month. You can time the purchase of your car and make life easier for yourself and on your budget. Look into better deals and know that they are always richer at the beginning of the month. Your dealer can talk you through the best time of the month to make your purchase, so if your budget is too squished, you can offer to come back another time of the month.

Ask For A Deal. At a dealership, you are more than within your rights to haggle and ask for a deal! You could be told that there is nothing that can be done, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t get some money off the car. You should always ask for a better deal especially if you see your ideal car being sold elsewhere for a cheaper amount of money. It’s not cheeky to ask for a deal, not when you could be told yes straight away.

Separate Transactions. Are you planning to trade-in your vehicle? If so, make sure that the deal you are offered at the dealership is not tied into it. By lumping the two together, you are going to end up worse off. Treating both a trade-in and a new, discounted deal as separate transactions, you can easily enjoy more of a deal this way. Your car deal should be an easy one and so ask your dealer how to separate these so that you can get the maximum from your car.

Choosing A Green Car. Have you considered a hybrid vehicle? Sure, a hybrid car is usually a premium option, but in the long term, you’re going to be choosing a greener option and reducing your carbon footprint at the same time. Doing your research into the hybrid price premium and a fuel-thrifty vehicle will be one of the best things that you can do for your car purchase. You want to know that you make the best decisions for the environment as much as you can for your budget. Diesel cars are terrific drives on the road, and they often have a much better fuel economy, too.

Be Competitive. You are playing a game when you buy a new car and you should consider this before you go to buy yours. Dig down into the reputation of the dealership and don’t settle for just one dealership. You should visit several and make sure that you are coming away with them all feeling like you are going to buy. When you do this, you can play them against each other and drive the price right down. You won’t believe how often people in sales will be happy to offer deals for this and that if they know that they are against other people and it’s a race for your business. Let’s not forget that more often than not, dealers are on commission. This means that they are being paid a bonus based on what they sell.

Stay In Control. You are the person driving the sale of the car – and you shouldn’t forget it. It’s very exciting to buy a new car, but you need to think carefully and intelligently when you are making a purchase. You don’t want to be in a position in which you are so over excited they take advantage of it and you don’t think clearly as a result. You should enjoy the experience of buying a car, but that doesn’t mean that you should be taken for a ride as a result. The research that you’ve done should include any tactics to be aware of from dealers who are going to have something to say about your purchase. Hidden fees, etc, need to be taken notice of as much as possible, too. Take any deals you are given away, sit on it for a while and then come back to buy.