Decision Time

So, by this point you should have done your initial research and test driven all the cars you’re interested in. If you haven’t made a final decision on what car you want to buy, thats not a problem. In fact it gives you more leverage in the negotiation process. If theres more than one car you’d be happy with, you can tell the salesman with sincerity that if you cant get the deal you’re looking for on his car you’re fine with buying his competition.

Before you can move on to negotiating you should have done the following:

  • Checked the insurance cost of the new car(s) you’re most interested in and checked to see if changing insurance carriers can save you some money.
  • Looked at what the total cost to own over time will be for the car(s)
  • Taken the time to re-test any car you’re not sure about
  • Calculated what you can honestly afford to spend on the car now that you have the additional cost to own data

Insurance
If you have not already you should find out how much your new car is going to cost to insure. Car buyers are often surprised when they need to get a new car as insurance is often more expensive.

*protip Don’t forget that if you’re financing or leasing your new vehicle, you MUST get full coverage for your new car. If you have been only paying for liability on your current paid-off vehicle you may experience some sticker shock.

You should check with your current insurance but its a very good idea to get some competing quotes. To get the best value we highly recommend getting quotes from at least 2-3 of the following:

Geico, Progressive Direct, Libery Mututal, Insurance.com

Total Cost to Own
Make sure to factor different all costs into your total monthly cost to own the car, gas, insurance, projected maintenance and repair costs. Edmunds.com true cost to own calculator can give you a quick snapshot of what the average total is for different makes, models and trims if you’re having difficulty putting it all together.

Double Check Your First Impression
While it might seem like a waste of time, its a very good idea to go for a second test drive in the cars that made your final candidate list. You may well notice something you like or can’t stand this time which you missed on the first go round. You’re likely to have this car for a few years at the least, better to spend a couple hours making sure of your choice now rather than years regretting it.

How much can I really afford to spend
Take a good look at your finances and consider the new information you have on the total cost of ownership. If you can’t get your 1st choice without sacrificing a few of the options you’d like, would you prefer to go with a second lower-priced different vehicle or stick with your favorite.

Once you’ve made your decision its time to either:

Move on to Arranging Financing

or. . .

Move on to Pricing Research

( for cash buyers and those wanting to lease)