Common Mistakes First-time Car Buyers Should Avoid Making

Shopping for your first car is an exhilarating experience. In the excitement, there are some common mistakes first-time car buyers tend to make. Buying a car may be your largest purchase, second only to your housing expense. So, choosing a vehicle and an auto loan are major buying decisions you need to make to your best advantage.

First-time Car-buying Mistakes to Avoid

It's important for inexperienced car buyers to educate themselves before shopping for a car. Then, during the shopping process, be cautious to avoid these strategies and others employed by some car salespeople:

1. Focusing on Monthly Payment Amount Instead of Purchase Price

Beware when a car salesperson is steering you toward thinking only about how much your monthly payment will be and away from the total price of the vehicle. By focusing only on the monthly payment, you could end up agreeing to pay more than the total price of the car over the lifetime of the loan. Concentrate on getting a good price first, then on getting good auto payment terms.

2. Unexpected Fees Added on at the Close of the Deal

In the excitement of finding a good car, inexperienced buyers often do not ask about additional costs that will be added to the purchase price. Buyers are then disappointed to find what started as a reasonable price, becomes a bad deal, often with hundreds of dollars in miscellaneous fees tacked on in the paperwork. Title fees, registration fees, processing fees, licensing fees, extended warranty fees, roadside service contract fees, and others add up to sticker shock for buyers who are too eager to wrap up the paperwork and drive away in their newly purchased car. So, do not be shy about negotiating the purchase price or walking away from the contract if you believe you're being railroaded into an unfair deal.

3. Giving in to High-pressure Sales Tactics

When you encounter a salesperson, who is clearly prioritizing making a sale over helping you get a car that actually meets your needs and suits your preferences, it’s time to move on to a more ethical sales rep or dealership to work with on finding the right car. Some unscrupulous salespeople will especially exploit the anxiety most people experience when met with hardcore negotiations. This is an easy way for them to take advantage of first-time car buyers, pressuring them to pay far more than the vehicles they're selling are worth. To avoid this experience, stick to shopping at dealerships that offer firm prices upfront so there is no negotiating price.

Members Auto, a division of CCCU, offers credit union members an excellent selection of high-quality new and used cars in great condition with low mileage. All vehicles are offered at competitive prices and are backed by a money-back guarantee to ensure you never have to worry about getting a bad deal. Contact us at 702-939-3115 for more information.