What Is The Best Way To Buy A Car? 5 Essential Steps to Success

what is the best way to buy a car
Modern car fast drive on asphalt road at sunset

What Is The Best Way To Buy A Car?

Admit it: Don’t you love the chance to practice mindfulness in your daily car commute to work?  Or, don’t you love cruising down the highway listening to your favorite songs on a weekend road trip? Whatever stirs you up, there is no doubt owning a car is a necessity. The convenience that comes with it is priceless. However, in today’s harsh economy where affording a car is becoming harder by the day, you’ve to be extremely savvy with your personal finances to acquire one. But if you’re ready to make the step and wondering what is the best way to buy a car, wonder no more.

what is the best way to buy a car

In this article, we’re revealing top 5 tips to buy that car you’ve always wanted!

Doing Your Research: Read Expert and Consumer Reviews

You probably know this.

Cars come in different shapes, sizes, colors and, importantly, mechanical prowess.

As such, the first step to buying a car is to do your research and find the best one for your needs.

what is the best way to buy a car

If you’ve got specific models in mind, dig online and discover what experts are saying about them. Are they reliable? Have there been any recalls? Are they easy to drive? How about fuel economy?

Also, talk to friends or relatives, or find someone who owns one and know what they think about the car.

Getting Your Finances in Order: Cash or Financing?

Buying a car in cash simply means going over to a dealership and paying for it outright, just like you were buying a mug of cappuccino!

When you choose to finance a car, it means you’re securing it on credit. You’ll make an initial deposit, followed by monthly installments until you clear the loan.

On the surface, cash seems the more financially sound decision of the two, because you’ll avoid the interest charges that come with loans.

However, cash isn’t always the better decision. Since new cars are usually costly, many buyers can’t afford them. Yes, financing will cost you more money, but it gives you the muscle to purchase a better car that will last much longer.

If you need a cheap car to use for errand running, you should probably buy in cash. But if you need a better car you’ll use in the long-term, but can’t afford it right now, go ahead and finance it!

Finding a Dealer: Avoid Getting Scammed

Don’t just walk into the nearest dealership because your car pick is in stock.

Some dealers have a reputation for swindling customers, so do your research and find a honest and trustworthy dealer.

Watch This Short Informative Video To Learn A Simple Tactic You Can Use To Successfully Buy A Car

Test-Driving the Car: Ensure It Meets (or Beats) Your Expectations

On average, Americans hold onto their cars for about 6 years.

For this length of time, you want to ensure your car will always perform to your expectations. And the only way to know this is to take it out for a test drive, regardless of whether it’s a new or used.

Is it easy to enter and exit? Are gauges and controls easy to read and operate? How about the sitting? If you’ll be carrying cargo, does it have enough space? Is it a joy to drive?

what is the best way to buy a car

Remember, if your daily commute is hilly, your seller should allow you to test drive it on hilly terrain.

Closing the Deal: Bring It Home at the Best Price

Even though dealers advertise one price, they usually come down a bit. But for this to happen, you must turn on your negotiation skills a notch!

Be firm, but don’t adjust your budget upwards if the seller doesn’t meet your price. Simply move on to your next option in the list. Or, if you already have another car, this is the best time to negotiate a trade-in.

Finally, work out the paperwork and pay attention to the details. A dealership will probably handle the paperwork for you, and a private user car seller will need to transfer the car’s title to you.

Final Thoughts on What Is the Best Way to Buy a Car

Buy a car, especially for the first time, is a big deal.

You must strive to get everything right, from research to title and registration.

At Credit Squared, we’re all about answering you what is the best way to buy a car that makes both you and your bank account happy.

If you any questions, be the first to shoot in the comments section below!

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  1. Good info, Patrick.

    I wish I had read this before I bought my Kia Forte back in 2011. 

    Although, I had done some research back then, Mazda 3 was my first choice. 

    Now, I am stuck with a seven year old car with an engine problem. I wonder if I had bought a Mazda 3 if I would have been happier.

    I don’t think I will ever go with a Kia again. Maybe Honda or Mazda. What do you think? Which one of the two would you recommend?

    • Well your Kia has gone beyond the National average of 6 years, so not too bad.  Engine problems will put a damper on things however.

      One of the best ways to buy a car is to do your research first before you choose.  There are a bunch of great cars out there and tons of websites that will provide all the data you need to make the right choice.

      Check out this site Edmunds.com it is one of the best sites to do auto research on.

      As far as what type of car to buy, most times it comes down to personal preference.

      I prefer Honda as it has a great maintenance/repair record history and they are extremely reliable.

      Best of luck in your new car search.



  2. Thanks for the advice here! 

    I recently purchased a new Hyundai, but my wife and I could be looking for a new car for her before too long.

    I haven’t considered financing before, but it definitely seems like a reasonable option. 

    What do you think about leasing a vehicle?

    Cars seem like really bad investments because they’re depreciating assets. They usually go down in value 1%-5% the minute it’s pulled off the lot from what I understand.

    So would you say it makes more sense to buy a house, but rent a car? Because you can get an equal or greater return on the house, but absolutely always a lower return on the car? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

    • Hey Jordan,

      Congrats on the new Hyundai!  It appears you paid cash, so you must be doing something right.  

      The only advantage I can see from financing a car is that it helps to build your credit score.  That can be a good thing, particularly when you are just starting out.

      It will certainly help you get that great investment called a house later down the road. It also conserves cash for a down payment on a home loan.

      Cars are depreciating assets, so a home purchase is a better investment over the long run.

      Even though a vehicle can be a financial negative, there is an element of fun involved.  I remember my first new car and it was a blast driving it. You never forget the experience.

      There are both negative and positives to leasing versus owning.  You need really know what fits best for you. 

      Having said that, leasing a car limits the mileage you can drive, adds fees to the lease and you have no value at the end.  I lean toward ownership, but it’s really a personal choice for the consumer.

      All the best.

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