Buying a New Car – How to Research for What You Really Want
Technology has come a long way over the years, taking even shopping for the car you want to a level beyond what it was just a decade ago. These changes can be rather scary. Online search bars and their results can spill mass amounts of information your way when looking for a simple answer. So how do you know what to read and what to take seriously? How do you know where to start when all the top results lead to a dealership? This process is much more simple than you would think, and if anything is a key factor in your searching and researching for a car, it’s patience. To be in the market would imply that either you have found something that has sparked your interest, or your prior vehicle has taken a turn for the worse in one way or another, whether it be a disastrous accident or mechanical failure that creeps up out of nowhere. If you want to know that what you are looking at buying isn’t going to leave you in a bad situation or unhappy, then these following steps will be vital to your success.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that all vehicles being produced and/or sold in the US must abide by federal regulations for characteristics such as emissions, safety features, and crash testing results. All manufacturers must report any faulty that can cause damage both to the vehicle or passengers or both. The federal government audits these manufacturers to ensure that these standards are kept. It would be very wise to check recent or past manufacturer recalls to ensure that these items are checked upon inspection. Bear in mind that a dealership must convey to you, the potential buyer, whether or not they checked to ensure recall items have been addressed, but a private seller may lie about it. Some websites have a user interface that allows vehicle owners to post comments about recalls. This can prove extensively helpful as some of the owners posting these comments will provide a description of the behavior the vehicle had before and after the work was completed. For information that the federal government puts out about these findings, refer to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, which can provide extensive research on the effects of these recalls as well as other useful information about vehicle safety in whole.
Did you know that most every brand not only has a loyal customer base, but an enthusiast website dedicated to those wanting to talk about what they like, what could be better and do it yourself fixes? Believe it or not, automotive forums online are among the most popular sites visited and subscribed to, and for good cause too. Prices of everything in this economy are skyrocketing and automotive repairs and troubleshooting are no exception. Most dealerships repair shops will charge in the neighborhood of $100 just to inspect a car, meaning they haven’t even put forth any effort into fixing said problem and you’re already out a large chunk of cash. With this kind of economic hit on the wallet, people are pulling their resources into tight knit communities and putting their experiences down in a place for the public to see. Granted, you will have to be mindful of what you read, since like Wikipedia, these forums are all user created content and should be taken with a grain of salt. Reality will show that if these same issues have numerous different authors on numerous different sites, then that issue may be something that should not be taken lightly. Read every post completely and if need be, ask questions. There will never be any better people to discuss a vehicle you are interested in than those who already own those vehicles. Always, always search for what you want to know before asking, because if you want to know, more than likely someone else did at some point to and has already addressed it.
Last, but certainly not the least of any list, is price. For this there is an abundance of useful places online to visit that will give a general idea of what the vehicle is worth in the market in your area. Among these sites is Kelley Blue Book, the most well-known name for automotive value searching. Others sites include the NADA Guides, and Edmonds. These websites require some information on the vehicle such as drive type, being rear wheel drive, front wheel drive, and all or four wheel drive. These sites will also ask for available options that the vehicle has that may make the value increase as well. After entering in this information, which is geographically specific, the websites will give the researching consumer a general spectrum of what the vehicle value is at a private party rate and a dealer trade in rate or retail value while using the self-entered characteristics of the condition of the vehicle. Also suggested is browsing local sales listing for private and retail sales of like makes and models. In some cases, the vehicle value may differ from what these sites or listings show and the reason can be attributed to the rarity of the vehicle, as well as the common demand for the vehicle in the general locale. These factors include popular motor sports in the area, and the typical age range that these sports target. For example, in the semi-rural south a Ford Mustang or diesel truck may go for a higher price than other areas around it due to the use, motor sports influence and age range demanding them. On the other hand, a high end Lexus or Mercedes Benz will fetch a higher market value in a large city setting in the same state even because of these same factors. By the end of your patient research process, you will feel like a subject matter expert, and that will contribute to your successful purchase in the long run.