6 Steps for Mastering the Car Buying Process

If you are preparing to buy a new car, you know how daunting the process can seem. Finding the right car for you and your family at a price that works for your budget requires careful shopping and preparation. At North Coast Auto Mall of Cleveland, we want to help you find the best car at the best price. Below, we list several steps you can take to streamline the car buying process.

Red Used Vehicle

Car” licensed under “CC BY 2.0” by Pictures of Money

Consider Your Needs

The first step in making a vehicle purchase is considering your needs and your family’s needs. Buying a car is a big decision that will affect your daily life for years, and it’s crucial that the vehicle you choose has all the features you need.

The first consideration is how many passengers you plan to transport in your new car. If you have a family, it might be helpful to find a car that can carry five to seven passengers, like an SUV, crossover, or minivan. If you are only using your car for work, you can consider a sedan or another small vehicle.

If you plan on taking your car on road trips, it might be beneficial to have ample cargo space, as well as comfortable head and legroom. People who enjoy the outdoors may want a car that offers trailering or off-road capabilities.

It’s also important to consider performance factors when buying a new vehicle. For example, if you have a small gas budget, try to find a car with good gas mileage or look for a hybrid. Finally, you can make a list of all the perks and luxury features that you might want in a vehicle.

Compare Your Car Options

After you know what you’re looking for, you can start looking for vehicles that match your needs. Start by looking online for the best vehicles in each class you are considering. Many sites compare different makes and models, and you can also consider reading customer reviews.

For a detailed review of a car’s features and specifications, it’s often best to look at the manufacturer’s website. This can help you find the answers to any questions that blogs and reviews don’t answer. If you have several cars that you’re interested in, consider making a list of the features you care about most and see how each vehicle stacks up.

Make a Budget

One of the most critical considerations in choosing a car is price. While it’s crucial to find a car you love, it’s also good to avoid vehicles that will make too big of a dent in your wallet. You can start by reviewing the MSRP for each vehicle you are considering. This will give you a pretty good idea of how much you might spend, although rates will vary based on where you buy.

Next, sit down and determine how much you are able to spend every month on your car payment and how much you can spare for your down payment. You can then compare your tentative budget to the approximate price for each vehicle and see which one fits best. At this point, it may also be helpful to check your credit. This can make a big difference on the deals you get and how much you pay every month.

Compare Your Dealership Options

After you know the car you are looking for, start looking around at local dealerships. Go to each dealership’s website and view their current inventory, along with any financing information that they have on their site. You can then compare prices and other perks, such as warranties and service.

If you have further questions about financing or available models, it might be helpful to contact the dealerships in your area. Talking to experienced staff can give you a better idea of your options, and they may be able to provide you with a detailed outline of what you would pay if you made a purchase. They can review your credit, outline their financing options and add any additional taxes and fees that you might not be able to view online.

Consider an Online Purchase

Like many other companies, car dealerships rely more heavily on digital platforms to do business. This can make the car-buying process much easier and save you some time that you would otherwise spend walking around car lots. 

You can start by reviewing the online purchase options that your local car dealerships offer. You can also consider buying from a range of national companies that provide a completely digital car-buying experience. While this may seem risky at first, most companies offer extensive safeguard options and good return policies to ensure that you get the product you need.

Look at Used Options

If you are having trouble finding a car that meets your needs for a manageable price, it might be time to consider a used vehicle. This can give you a greater number of options and can be significantly less expensive since cars lose a significant amount of their value as soon as they leave the lot. With a little careful shopping, you can find a car in almost new condition for a much lower price.

Buying a used car has also become far less risky than it once was. Used car dealers now keep extensive vehicle records that allow you to view a car’s complete service history, along with its history of use, number of owners, accident reports, and other valuable information.

Many auto companies also offer certified pre-owned programs that take much of the guesswork out of buying a used car. These companies provide complete inspections and extensive service to ensure that any car you buy is in good working condition. In some cars, they may offer features usually reserved for new cars, such as warranties and service programs. These factors make buying a used car an attractive option for those who want to save some money.

Reach Out to North Coast Auto Mall of Cleveland

We hope that our 6 step process for car buying helps you find the car of your dreams at a price you can afford. If you are looking for a vehicle in the Cleveland area, feel free to visit our showroom or view our current inventory online. If you have any questions about what we offer, our financing options, or anything else, our staff would love to hear from you. Best of luck in your car-buying journey, and we can’t wait to see you at North Coast Auto Mall of Cleveland.