The COVID-19 crisis has forced many people to invest in a car as their primary means of transportation. Strong evidence of this is the rise in used car sales particularly during the months when cases are high throughout the U.S.
This was almost a predictable result, given people’s fear of contracting the deadly virus by taking public transport where the risks of transmission are high. By having their own cars, regardless of condition, people are more at ease moving around as they go to work or take care of their essential needs such as buying medicines or groceries.
If you’re currently scouting for a car right now, whether brand new or used, there are some things you must observe given the ongoing threat of the virus. Here are five easy tricks to find the perfect car during this pandemic:
Look for car advertisements
When it comes to searching for cars, advertisements are the best media to watch out for. Be it traditional ads on newspapers or radio, or digital advertisements on social media and websites, scouting car-related campaign materials will give you plenty of options to choose from.
Specifically, you may look for ads run by a local automotive advertising agency that typically contain different cars for sale within a few miles from your location. Car dealerships often turn to local advertising firms to promote their cars for sale since it’s easier to close sales when buyers are near the dealer.
Again, you may also try searching for cars for sale on other channels including Facebook Marketplace and dealership websites.
Weigh all your options first
Do you really need to pay for your desired car on a cash basis or would deferred payments be more practical? Is brand-new really your best option or would a used car suit you better financially?
These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself and also find answers to, particularly if budget is a primary consideration.
Keep in mind that we’re in a highly unstable economic situation these days even as COVID-19 vaccines have now been made commercially available. If you do have plenty of spare cash to spend on the car you desire, then by all means go for it.
However, if you have limited wiggle room and you really need to be 100 percent certain of making the best financial decision, the right thing to do is to exhaust all your options first before calling the shots.
Research on the car make and model you’re keen on buying
Buying a car is pretty much similar to buying a house, smartphone, or anything that has monetary value: you need to know as much about it before spending a single dollar.
As such, be sure to diligently do a quick research on the particular car make and model that you wish to purchase. Among the pieces of information you need to know are the car’s reliability, annual maintenance costs, fuel economy, and long-term ownership costs.
Unless you intend to sell the car right after the pandemic, you need to treat it as a long-term investment that requires your due diligence.
Apply for, and get pre-approved for a car loan
There are quite a lot of eager or inexperienced car buyers who jump at the opportunity to own a car without first ensuring that they’re getting the better end of the deal.
Many quickly say yes to dealer financing, thinking it’s the best option they have. Unfortunately, many of them also end up regretting their decision later on when they found out that they could have scored a better deal if they opted for a loan from another lending institution.
As such, be sure to apply for a car loan and be pre-approved first before you begin making the rounds on local dealerships. With a pre-approved loan on your hands, you have a great bargaining chip with dealerships should they offer a higher loan rate for your desired car.
Know how much is the average selling cost of your desired car
Does that car you’re keen on buying from a local dealership really sell for the certain amount you’re quoted or is the prevailing market price way lower than the dealer’s quotation?
You won’t know the answer to this simple question if you won’t make the quick effort to research it.
Before you look around and negotiate with dealers, be sure to find out the average market price of your desired car. You need to look for listings that have similar make, model, year, and even color to have reliable points of comparison as to the prevailing price for the car.
Just like the trick of getting pre-approved for a car loan, this will also help you gain a better footing during the negotiation phase, so you’ll end up with the best price point.
With these five tricks, you’ll surely get the perfect car at the best price you could have.