Car buying has come a long way in recent years. You used to have to visit a dealership and haggle with a sleazy salesperson before finally driving off the lot in your new ride. As the automotive industry changes, car buying is also changing. You can buy a car online and have it delivered to your home, and you never have to see the seller in person.
And since our car buying methods are changing, so are the tips and tricks. Here are five tips from JP Morgan Chase that can help prepare car buyers for their car shopping experience in 2023:
Set and Stick To Your Budget
Okay, so not everything changed. Buyers still need to decide on a budget before ever browsing for cars. And you don't just need to consider the cost of the vehicle but also the cost of insurance, maintenance, and fuel. According to recent studies, car owners spend over $12,000 a year in gas and maintenance on their vehicles, so planning your finances and avoiding overstretching your budget is crucial.
Hunt for The Best Deals
Technology advancements do not change the fact that buyers want a steal on their car purchase. But how we go about hunting for the best deals has undoubtedly changed.
Timing has a significant impact on getting a good deal. Buyers and watch for price cycles in the industry. End-of-month, end-of-model, and inventory clearouts are great opportunities to watch for.
Car-buying apps like CarGurus show you the fair market value of the car listing you're considering and will tell you whether or not it is a good deal based on the market value. You can also look online at Kelley Blue Book to help you decide if a price tag is fair.
Test Drive and Assess Your Needs
Yes, you can purchase a car online and have it delivered to your door without ever turning the ignition on your own. However, that comes with several downsides. Before committing to a purchase, test drive it so that you can see how it feels, looks, and performs. Pay attention to the interior– is it roomy enough to meet your needs?
After the test, ask about the car's warranty, fuel efficiency, and maintenance records. You can ask for these things even if you're buying a used car. If you are considering purchasing a used car, remember that you can always take the vehicle to an auto mechanic to ensure it passes its smell test.
Choose Your Purchase Method: Financing or Leasing.
There are pros and cons to both financing and leasing. With a car loan, you don't have to worry about mileage limits, and you can customize and modify the vehicle as you wish. You will also own your car outright when you finish your finance payments.
With leasing, there are lower upfront costs. However, the car isn't yours at the end of the lease term. You have three options: return the vehicle, purchase it, or trade it in for a new lease.
Electric Vehicle or Gas-Powered Engine?
EVs are becoming increasingly popular, and consumers are faced with choosing between an EV or a gas-powered vehicle. Two wise things to consider are the cost and the maintenance.
With an EV, the cost of electricity to fuel the vehicle is almost half the cost of fueling a gasoline-powered engine. And while the initial price of an EV may be high, federal and local tax incentives can help with this cost difference.
EVs also typically cost less to maintain than traditional cars since most EV batteries come with an 8-10-year warranty.
As you prepare to buy a car in 2023, these tips can help you make informed decisions and ultimately drive away with a vehicle that suits your needs and budget.