Two highway signs on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Tips for Buying a New Car – Plymouth Rock Assurance in New Jersey

If you’re like many consumers, purchasing a car can bring both excitement and anxiety. Next to purchasing a home, buying a vehicle is most likely the second most expensive purchase you’ll make. To help make a wise decision, we’ve put together this six-point checklist of tips for buying a new car.

Start with the Basics

Assess your needs by making a list of features you want in your new vehicle. Include such items as size, must-haves (automatic vs. manual transmission, fuel efficiency, safety features) and options (e.g., GPS, power windows, sun roof).

Determine Your Budget

Know how much you can afford before you shop. Stick to your budget to avoid the temptation of buying on impulse or agreeing to a price that could pinch your lifestyle for years to come. A rule of thumb from personal financial experts is to keep expenses related to transportation (such as car payments, gas, insurance and repairs) to no more than 15% of your monthly household income. Insurance costs will vary by vehicle model and other factors, so be sure to talk with an insurance agent early in your planning process.

Do Your Homework

It’s important to comparison shop different models, features, ratings and pricing before you visit a dealership. You can do this easily and without any commitments by doing research online. Check the websites of auto manufacturers and dealerships and read reviews in consumer and auto publications to learn as much as you can about the vehicle you are interested in purchasing before you head out to the dealership.

Arrange Financing First

Comparison shopping for financing is just as important as it is for your vehicle. Every time a dealer or loan company checks your credit report to determine your credit worthiness, your credit score actually goes down. To obtain the best financing rates, you may wish to secure a loan ahead of your actual vehicle purchase. When you are ready to buy, this will help you stay within budget and protect your credit too.

Purchase Car Insurance

Before you can drive your new vehicle off the lot, it must be covered by insurance. Call your insurance agent in advance of purchasing it to ensure you purchase the appropriate coverage. Keep in mind the following when shopping for car insurance:

• Generally, the more expensive the car, the more you’ll pay for insurance. This is an important factor when determining your overall budget.
• People who drive a lot for work or commute a long distance usually pay more than those who drive less.
• Accident rates are generally higher for younger drivers under 25, especially men, which often mean higher insurance prices.
• Drivers with poor driving records usually pay more for coverage than people who have been accident-free for several years.
• A deductible is the part of a claim you've agreed in advance to pay with your own money. Generally, the higher the deductible, the lower your premium.

Read the Fine Print

With your advance planning completed, you’re ready to begin the process of shopping for a new vehicle. Be sure to test drive each car on your list to ensure you like the way it handles. Once you’ve made your decision, negotiate with the dealer for the best price and read the fine print of your contract. Here are some important things to do:

• Verify the basic vehicle information to ensure it matches the automobile you are buying.
• Confirm the sales terms of payment. Your contract should include the full purchase amount, the amount of deposit (if any), the date of payment and the payment method.
• If you buy a car from a dealer, you will pay either in full or with a loan. Carefully review all financing information in the contract to ensure it includes the agreed upon interest rate (APR), the amount the loan will cost you over time and any other financing fees or costs.
• Verify any remaining details, such as the auto warranty information or guarantees. If your sales contract doesn’t include this information, insist upon adding it in.
• If you’re purchasing a used car, consider adding a disclosure statement in the sales contract. This verifies that the seller has told you about any accidents or incidents that damaged it, any liens or claims against it and any defects to the engine, electronic system or power system.
• If you find yourself confused about any part of the contract, seek the advice of a seasoned buyer. Someone with a bit more experience might help you understand any unclear terms. Once you know your sales contract inside and out, you can sign on the dotted line with confidence.

Call 855-993-4470, get your free quote online, or find an agent to learn more about tips for buying a new car in New Jersey. If you need additional information it can be found on our Contact Us page.