Maybe this is your first car, maybe it’s your fifth car, everyone can agree the whole car shopping experience can be quiet daunting and scary at times.  In the arena where the price is right and it can feel like you are on a game show with the worst dressed car salesman, try some of these tips and tricks to ease the tension of finding your perfect set of wheels.

Buying a Car

Function over Form

Determine what is the primary function of this new car will be.  What do you dislike about your current car and what would be your practical wish list?  While it’s not the most fun, being an adult means selecting a car that fits the bill for your everyday life, not necessarily something shiny with all the gadgets and gizmos.  Depending on your lifestyle you will probably need something with a lot of truck space, not the latest XM radio.

Do your research, shop around

Be sure to take your time finding the perfect fit.  Car dealerships are focused on one thing only – making the sale today, not tomorrow or a week from now.  Never jump at something in the moment until you have all the variables.  Car salesmen have a reputation for a reason – they want things to move fast so you aren’t able to stop and think for a while.  Are you looking for brand new, pre-owned or a lease?  Set your budget and what you are comfortable doing.  Each of these methods have their positives and negatives.  It’s about customizing it to fit your lifestyle.

Partners in Crime

Have a friend or partner go with you, never shop alone.  This way you can play your own version of good cop, bad cop with the salesmen.  When the heat gets too intense, you have another person in your corner on your side, and someone that can be a getaway excuse to walk away from an unwanted deal.  Share your wish list with them before you go, they will keep you on track while the salesman is trying to distract you with insignificant features.

It’s a buyer’s market

Put yourself in the driver’s seat quite literally when shopping for cars.  There are so many options these days like Autotrader, Carmax, and Carvana.  Sometimes the dealer isn’t going to be your best choice.  Pre-owned cars come with their own warranty and guarantee.  At least keep your roads open for different adventures and routes.

Cars

There will never be an exact science to buying a car, especially in the ever-changing game of the internet and bringing new ways to shop.  Stick to your instincts and your guns and you’ll enjoy the process much more.  What’s most important is finding a car that fits and meshes with you, and not the other way around.