Congratulations! You’ve just been approved for an auto loan. Now, it’s time to start searching for the perfect ride. After test driving all the options on your list, you’re torn between several options.
Well, there’s so much more to purchasing a car that spans beyond the test drive. Once you’ve secured financing, you’ll need to thoroughly analyze the car from top to bottom, inside out, to ensure it’ll be worth the investment.
New or Used?
In most instances, what you see is what you get when purchasing a used car. You’ll have the option of changing the paint color or purchasing more add-ons, but only once the deal is sealed.
On the other hand, a new car is another ball game. In most instances, you’ll have several options to choose from. Visit the manufacturer’s website to take an online tour of both the exterior and interior tour of the vehicle. You can also visit the local dealership to get an up close and personal look. But keep in mind that it’ll be chock full of all the bells and whistles, so it’s best to read the fine print to get an idea of what the base model includes. You may discover that the ride is not worth the asking price.
A 21-point Checklist
Since most new cars come with some sort of manufacturer’s warranty to give you a peace of mind, what you’ll be looking for will be cosmetic. By contrast, a bulk of used cars are sold as-is unless you are considering a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle from the dealership or the seller’s extended warranty is still valid and will transfer to you.
Here’s a checklist of things to look for when buying a car:
- 1. Body: Does the manufacturer offer the color or paint finish you’re looking for? If the car is used, is the body of the vehicle up to par or are there scratches and dents that could indicate major bodywork has been performed on the vehicle? The latter could indicate that the car was totaled in an accident and is not safe for the road.
- 2. Hauling Capacity: Will you be transporting heavy objects? If so, you’ll need to inquire about the towing capacity. Also, examine the trunk space to ensure its adequate and confirm bicycle and/or luggage racks can be installed on the vehicle if they aren’t already present.
- 3. Doors: Power doors are a huge plus for minivans since you’ll either be hauling tons of items or having children frequently enter and exit. Test them out to ensure they function properly.