The Car Book Blog: 5 Basic Steps to Car Buying
The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
With the release of the 39th edition of The Car Book—now available online—we’re sharing some of our best tips for car buying and maintaining your vehicle after you buy. The Car Book 2019 provides today’s car buyer with in-depth ratings of the 2019 vehicles, The Car Book’s unique crash test ratings, comparative complaint ratings, and all of the information needed to make a smart, safe and informed vehicle purchase. For online users only, the site also includes over 1,000 used car ratings going back five years.
In this edition of The Car Book Blog, we’ll give you key advice on how to buy for safety. If you’re more interested in the safety of yourself and your family than moon roofs or cupholders, this post is for you.
So you know you need a new car…now what? Buying a car can definitely be an intimidating experience. That’s why the Center for Auto Safety wants to help walk you through strategies to leave the showroom with the vehicle that’s perfect for you and your family!
1) Consider Your Needs.
Do you have a large family? Small parking lot? Consider your needs and how you will use a vehicle, and based on that, narrow your choice down to a particular class of car–sports, station wagon, minivan, sedan, large luxury, SUV, truck, or economy car. Some cars will fit more than one category.
2) Determine Which Features Matter to You.
Most buyers consider safety among their top features, but what does that mean to you? Does it include blind spot detection, automatic breaking, and lane keeping assist? Have you considered insurance and maintenance costs? At this stage of the game, you should figure out which features you absolutely need, and which ones you can live without.
3) Make a List.
Now that you have a list of features that matter to you, pick out three or four cars that meet your specifications.
4) Take the Cars for a Test Drive.
The best way to figure out whether or not you like a car? Drive it! We’d recommend taking at least an hour to drive around, preferably without a salesperson. You should try out driving on the highway, in a parking lot, backing out, and using the trunk. You can also try renting the car for a day.
5) Negotiating the Price.
So you’ve found a car a car you like–great! Now it’s time to make sure that you get a fair price for it. We’d recommend using the non-profit CarBargains to make sure you’re getting a fair price. For more specific advice on negotiating prices, stay tuned for the next edition of The Car Book Blog!
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