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Questions to ask when buying a car Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make smarter financial decisions by offering you interactive financial calculators and tools as well as publishing authoritative and original content, by enabling you to conduct your own research and compare data for free – so that you can make informed financial decisions. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers such as, but not restricted to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn money The products that appear on this website are provided by companies who pay us. This compensation may impact how and when products are featured on the site, such as for instance, the order in which they may appear within the listing categories and other categories, unless prohibited by law. Our mortgage and home equity products, as well as other products for home loans. This compensation, however, does affect the information we publish, or the reviews that you read on this site. We do not cover the vast array of companies or financial offerings that could be open to you.
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4 min read. Published 13 October 2022
Writen by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter
Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers to navigate the details of borrowing money to purchase the car they want.
Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor
Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers feel confident to take control of their finances by providing precise, well-studied information that breaks down complicated topics into manageable bites.
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The most important thing to leave the dealership happy with your purchase is to know the right concerns to inquire about. In order to protect your wallet and requirements, prepare yourself with tough questions — and be prepared to walk away in the event that you don’t receive satisfactory answers. Otherwise, you may not get the best deal in the purchase of a vehicle. Questions to ask all car dealers Whether you decide to buy the car new or second hand, there are three top general questions to ask the dealer before going to meet them for a handshake. Are there any test drives available for the vehicle? It’s difficult to tell whether a car is the right fit until you adjust the seat and feel for the handling capabilities. Pay special attention to the way the brakes feel, and if you can see the vehicle able to meet your requirements and daily routines. If you’re able to, ask the dealer if you are able to take it into your garage, or parking spot to check if it is perfectly. Some dealers may permit you to keep the car for a night to check it out on your daily schedule. What warranty is in the automobile, if there is one? Warranties can cover certain damage that the vehicle suffers as well as wear and tear. For new vehicles, manufacturer warranties cover the most serious problems — though you will still have to cover regular maintenance. Certain used vehicles may still have their original warranty or a new warranty if you choose to buy certified pre-owned (CPO). If there is a warranty in place, you can save a significant amount on future repairs, based on how long it’s. And even if there’s not an existing warranty, you can determine if an extended warranty or gap insurance are options. However, these can be costly and are often not required, take your time evaluating your needs prior to asking a salesperson for it. What additional fees come with the purchase of this vehicle? Whatever vehicle you decide to purchase it is important to be ready to pay additional charges. In your state, you may be required to pay fee for transfer of title and other costs that are non-negotiable. The dealership may also have specific fees that you’ll have to pay. And although it can be tempting to just finance those fees and sales tax to your loan Avoid it if it is possible. You should not take out more loans than your car is worth. Fees and taxes should pay in cash, if you are able. When buying an automobile for the first time The car market continues to thrive, and prices remain at an ever-high. So, even if you feel like a seasoned veteran when it comes to there are some important points to consider to ensure that you receive the best price. Make sure the dealer can answer these questions before signing off on . What are the available terms for financing? Find out the terms offered by outside lenders. It is likely that if you have excellent to good credit, you will be able find the best deal with the credit union, bank or an online lender. Make sure you compare prequalification deals with what the dealer is offering. Are there any available incentives or rebates? In some instances you could qualify for incentives when you buy an automobile. This perk generally reduces the price of the purchase after taxes.These vary from discounts offered during certain seasons to those available for certain categories, such as veterans or students. What is the documentation fee for this vehicle? The documentation fee, also known as « doc fee » is the cost that dealers charge to cover the costs of concluding the sale contract for you. Contrary to some of the fees associated with the purchase of a new vehicle The documentation fee can’t be negotiated. Certain states have a limit on how much dealers can charge. But if you live in a state where there isn’t allow this, you could end up paying as much as $600 . Things to consider when purchasing an used car, despite the cost increases on used cars because of shortages in inventory The purchase of used cars comes with perks. However, it is more of a risk if you don’t know the history of the vehicle. If you intend to inquire about the history of the vehicle, there are some questions you can ask to ensure that you are getting an automobile in good shape. Has this vehicle been in any accident? The cause of all accidents cannot be found in a vehicle history report, so ask outright if your potential car was involved in any accidents and how it was repaired. You should inquire about the time the incident occurred, and if there was repairs that were later made to it. What number of owners has this vehicle had? Ideally, you would prefer a pre-owned car with one to two happy owners, not a vehicle which was given to several drivers. A vehicle with a lengthy ownership history can be an indicator that the vehicle has some problems that need to be addressed. It is also important to inquire about how the dealer acquired the vehicle. The trade-in vehicle may not have a full history , but an earlier rental has been regularly maintained — if driven harder than a car owned by a private owner. Do I need to have the vehicle examined through my service technician? A request for an inspection is an excellent final step in your inquiry process , but you should only ask if you know you’d like the car in the meantime of the outcome of the inspection. It will assist you in determining the confidence of the dealer in the car and having an independent set of eyes to check the vehicle over can assure you that you’re getting what you pay for. The main point is that aside from doing your research on the kind of car you’re interested in and looking to get the best price on financing, it’s essential to know the right questions to ask prior to going to the dealership. Pull up to the dealer with a clear plan and a list of right questions to ask. You’ll also be equipped with the knowledge needed for making an educated decision to sign on the paper or leaving in search of an alternative that is more affordable. Learn more
Written by Auto Loans Reporter
Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers to navigate the details of using loans to buy an automobile.
The edit was done by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor
Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances through providing concise, well-researched and well-constructed data that breaks complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.
Auto loans editor
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