The Car Buying Experience – Satisfaction Guaranteed With These Simple Tips

Have you ever felt disappointed by a car purchase? Maybe you were plagued by mechanical problems? Perhaps you just rushed into the sale and regretted the model choice? Is the ride not what you were expecting? Or maybe the whole experience has left you stressed and frustrated? Buying a car is a big purchase decision. You need to know the choice you’ve made is the right one for you. And when you’re parting with that amount of cash, you want the purchase experience to be pretty good too.

Do Your Homework

Cars don’t just get you from A to B. They are a status symbol. They’re the place you catch up with the latest news bulletin. They might even be where you eat your lunch every day. Your car might have been chosen to keep your kids as safe as possible on the school run. Or maybe you’ve picked a van that is secure enough to keep your tools locked up safe. We all want and need different things from our vehicles. Know what’s important and make sure your choice of car provides that in abundance.

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There are several things you need to do before you start narrowing down your vehicle choices. Start by checking out a great website like this one! If you’re looking for a car that would suit your young family, then we’ve got some suggestions. Don’t be afraid to Google your requirements too. You’ll find plenty of ads from all the main manufacturers. You can find forums and reviews of specific makes and models too. All of this can be done from the comfort of your own sofa from your smartphone.

Start making a list of the vehicles that pique your interest most. Now you need to start checking out the latest models to see what onboard goodies you might be able to get. A simple spreadsheet can help you determine which features are your must-haves, and which you don’t mind living without. Now you’re narrowing down the vehicles and features, the last thing you need to research is the price.


Most vehicles are bought on finance, especially if they’re new. The APR is the biggest deal breaker for you here. If it’s not at 0%, then you need to think very carefully about whether you want to go through with the deal. When you’re charged interest, the bottom line cost of your vehicle starts to jump up. Yes, finance can make repayments far more manageable. But the longer you have the loan, and the higher the APR, the more your car ultimately costs.

Insurance will also cost you more money if the vehicle is high-value. You can check with insurance providers direct, or check a comparison website to see how much you might expect to pay. Your own personal circumstances will have some bearing here. You might have noticed that some vehicles attract cheaper insurance policies as they are safer and more secure.

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Maintenance costs are another thing to factor in. How much does the annual service cost? Are the tires a special type that will cost a fortune to replace each year? What about all those onboard apps? Is there an additional cost to update them? Consider the full costs associated with owning each car, so you don’t face bigger than expected bills once you’ve got the keys.

Dealer Dealings

Picking a dealer that sells one brand of car exclusively has benefits as well as disadvantages. You’ll get expert and specialist knowledge of each model in the range. You’ll also find all your parts and accessories in one place. Best of all you might have access to exclusive deals and upgrades that more general dealerships may not have for you.

Bigger dealerships like Reynella Subaru might offer everything you need under one roof for one make. They might also have the advantage of providing other manufacturer models too. This means you have more choice and a better way to make comparisons if one type of vehicle doesn’t suit you as well as you’d hoped. You might decide to make appointments with two or three different dealers. This can be a good idea, but it could be costly for your time and energy! Look for dealers that offer a great sales experience.

When you arrive, you should be greeted, and you should be given plenty of space to browse without a hard sales line. The employees should be knowledgeable, and they should have the information or history of each vehicle to hand. And yes, you should be offered refreshments! After all, this is a big purchase decision, so you need adequate time to consider it. It doesn’t matter if you’re after a used car or a brand new luxury vehicle. Look for a dealer or sales representative that treats you well from the moment you arrive.

The Test Drive

Never buy a car you haven’t driven, and never buy a car you haven’t fully tested. You need to know that you’re comfortable in the driving seat. Check that everything feels natural. Can you reach the indicators without having to look for them? Are the pedals too close together? Is the seat fully adjustable? Don’t forget to check outside the car too. Does the rear door open in the most convenient way? Will everything fit that you want to put in the back? Can the kids climb in unaided? All the little things that might not be an issue for others still need to be checked if they make a difference to you.

Out on the road will be plenty of challenges for you and the car. Is the engine or tire noise intrusive or do you love that raw roar? Is the power what you expected and are you satisfied with the brakes? How’s the steering handling? If it’s too heavy, you’ll just find the whole drive cumbersome. If it’s too light, you’ll soon tire of having to take extra care with minor adjustments. Don’t forget to park it. If you’re worried about the width, the length, or that pesky blindspot, consider a different vehicle. You want your car to be a pleasure at all times so find one that is.

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One of the last things you might check is all the onboard gadgets and gizmos. Not all onboard entertainment systems are easy to figure out. If this one isn’t simple, perhaps you ought to find a better interface? If your vehicle is used, you should check everything works and is serviceable. If it doesn’t either ask for a discount, a repair or choose a different car.


Once you made your choice, be prepared to walk away from it. There should always be ‘wiggle room’ when you’re negotiating a sales price, whether the car is new or used. There is even more to haggle over when it comes to the value of your part exchange too. Don’t be afraid to sell your old vehicle privately if you feel you’re not getting a great price. If you’re taking out finance as well, make sure you fully understand the terms of the agreement and your bottom line cost.

There are several things you can negotiate when you’re making a car purchase. Add-ons is the most obvious place to start. Things that should be standard are often excluded at first to try and sweeten the deal later. Floor mats and mud guards are the two most often used for this. Other add-ons that you should insist upon include the first service and a full-vehicle checkup after the first 1000 miles for free. Make sure the vehicle has a recent testing and service certificate if it is used. Don’t forget to find out who the onsite mechanic or service technician is, so you have full contact details.

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Once you’ve agreed on the price and the method of payment, you may still have to wait quite some time before you can drive it away. If it’s new, it might not have been built yet! If it’s used, it may require a few tweaks as per your requirements before it leaves the lot.

Driving It Home

New cars can take several weeks to arrive and be prepared for you to pick up. Before you drive off, make sure the salesperson takes you through how to adjust everything. The seats, mirrors, on-road controls, and gear changers are probably the most essential. Check you’re happy with the body work and that everything looks good around the wheels, lights, and bumpers. This is the point where you want to have the best experience of buying your car. It’s there in front of you and should look impeccable. Don’t let anyone rush your moment.

Start it up before you let the salesperson disappear. Have the windows open so you can hear anything unusual or problematic. Check behind that there are no unpleasant emissions too! A good dealer will be happy to take you through all these things. You can ask them to come for a first drive with you so you can be certain you’re fully satisfied with your purchase. After all, you’ve put a lot into finding this perfect car!

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About Sean Mackay

Sean writes about cars, golf and events going on in British Columbia, Canada. He is also the editor for The Automotive Review - an automotive publication bringing a West Coast flavour to its editorials.
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