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Questions to Ask When Car Shopping

August 22nd, 2013

consumer car reviewWe’ve all been there. Going through a process that requires careful thought and consideration often entails asking a lot of questions – so many questions that sometimes, we forget one or two. As we’re leaving the sales situation or have already made it back home, we think – Man, I wish I would have asked that! With car shopping, that can be especially problematic. Our blog last month described what you should do before buying a new car. You should also be making a list of questions to ask when car shopping. When you’re actually in the car shopping process, it’s easy for our brains to get wrapped up in other things and end up sidetracked from major questions we may have had ahead of time.

Here are a few questions to ask during your car shopping experience. Feel free to add some of these questions to your list while your car shopping to ensure you don’t forget any important information.

How long of a test drive can I take? During car shopping, it’s imperative that you actually get to experience the ride you might be investing in. Each dealership is different in how far and long a test drive will be. However, to truly understand how the vehicle will handle, a potential buyer must get a feel for it in multiple situations. How well does it brake? How does it handle at high speeds? What are its vibrations like on bumpy roads? Is its maneuverability capable of managing tight turns comfortably? If your car dealer asks you to limit the ride time, explain that you would like a longer test drive to ensure you make the right choice when car shopping.

Was this vehicle used as a display model? This may or may not matter to you, but for many folks car shopping is a time when they are looking to get a brand new car that hasn’t been checked out by anyone who has strolled in the dealership. If you’d prefer the newest of the new, ask the car salesperson how long the vehicle has been at the dealership and who has handled it during that time.

Is that the best you can do? A price that a dealership gives you is very rarely set in stone. Additionally, advertised promotions might not be the only discounts that they can offer. Car shopping can get really stressful when considering the financial aspect of it. Don’t be afraid to haggle. This doesn’t mean you have to be pushy about it; it simply means that it’s okay to ask if there’s anything else the car salesperson can do to help you snag a better deal.

What’s the warranty coverage? Each car maker has specifics within their car warranties. Be sure you have a clear understanding of what will be covered and what will not be. Additionally, inquire about optional extensions and add ons. For example, some warranties include tire coverage consumer car reviewwhile others require additional cost for that.

Does this vehicle meet my lifestyle needs? Every individual requires different things when car shopping. While gas mileage may be important to some people, others might require a larger automobile. Be sure to consider any anticipated life changes that may occur within the lifetime of the car you’ll be purchasing. Make a small checklist of wants and needs then make sure they have been met with the car you’re looking at.

Can you identify any negatives about this vehicle? If you simply come out and ask this question while car shopping, many car salespeople will be honest. Even if they’re trying to sell you on the big purchase, they’ll have their own opinions of the vehicle. Keep in mind that some salespeople will use this as an opportunity to upsell you on more expensive options and features, but it’s worth asking with some skepticism.

Have you started the car shopping process? Be sure to take a good look at our comparison tool to evaluate which vehicle is right of you.