Common Mistakes People Make When Shopping for a Car

by Gabriele Pisano on

Posted in: Automotive Curiosity

Shopping for a Car

Cars are one of the biggest purchases people ever make, only surpassed by real estate purchases. Compounding matters is the fact that we typically by multiple cars over a lifetime, and cars go down in value. Here are some of the biggest mistakes people make when shopping for a car.

They Overestimate the Trade-ln Value of the Current Car

A common mistake people make is inflating the value of the car they’re trading in. They assume the old car is worth just a little less than what they paid for it. It may become a matter of pride, demanding more for the trade-in. The dealer may inflate the value of the trade-in but make up for this by not cutting into their own profit margin or padding the bill with other fees.

They Assume They Must Drive a Certain Type of Car

There are several variations of this mistake. First, someone may see their car as an extension of their personality or a mandatory status symbol for someone in their profession. The classic example is the doctor or lawyer who thinks they have to have a luxury car, when any decent sedan is fine. Another example is the young adult who picks out a car based on a subconscious mental image. It may be the young man who buys a jeep or sports car as if this proves he’s an adventurer or racer, though a few buy a more reasonable vehicle before making an explicit statement with spoilers and other after-market upgrades.

They Don’t Shop around for Financing

People tend to shop around for relatively cheap buys like clothing and food, but they are less likely to shop around for the big ticket items like car loans and auto insurance. The horrible irony is that they may do thorough research on the vehicles themselves, comparing safety ratings, reliability reports and features of cars but not even bother to research financing options. It is insane to select one car over another because it is several hundred dollars cheaper but not bother to save several percent on a car loan or shave several thousand in added on fees on the final bill. Go to this site for car loans to see how much you could save on car loans. Don’t make the mistake of assuming the car dealer will give you the best financing deal. They won’t give you a better interest rate because you’re buying a car from them. For them, the car loan is a second way to make money off of you, the car purchase being the first.

They Let the Salesperson Play Dominance Games

Car dealers play a lot of dominance games, and they literally profit from it. For example, they tend to make you wait before they see you. This suggests they’re more important than you, and it tends to make you defer to their recommendations over your own research. They’ll negotiate in their office behind their desk, making you seem like a supplicant begging them for that car. They’ll push emotional buttons knowing that it turns off the logic portion of the brain. Don’t you love the car? You cannot not pay more for these additional “protections”, warranties and other expensive extras. Aren’t you afraid for your family’s safety and want that safer, more expensive car?

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