Questions to Ask When Buying a New Car

November 8th, 2023 by

Purchasing a new vehicle is a major financial investment. You must do your research and ask the right questions to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Apart from taking note of your budget and preferences, you should also know what to look for in a vehicle before you buy it. While its performance, safety features, and technology are important considerations, equally crucial is the dealership you buy from. If you’re in Bradenton, Florida, or nearby areas, we encourage you to visit us when you’re ready to buy your next car.

While buying a car is exciting, it can also be a little daunting. To help you make the best decision possible, we’ve compiled a list of questions to ask when buying a new car.

What Type of Car Should I Consider?

New Car Buying Questions

When shopping for a new car, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and the purpose of the vehicle. If you’re looking for a daily driver to get you to and from work, a sedan may be a good option. If you need something larger to fit your family or haul cargo, an SUV may be the better choice. And if you’re in the market for a workhorse with decent towing capabilities and a high payload capacity, a pickup truck could be your best bet.

When considering the type of car you should buy, remember that the inventory of vehicles for sale will vary by dealership and isn’t always consistent. If you’re looking for a specific make or model, it’s best to visit a reputable dealership that carries that brand. For instance, if you’re interested in a Mitsubishi, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, or Ram vehicle, get in touch with us to learn what’s currently in stock.

What’s My Warranty Coverage?

Understanding the warranty coverage is essential for protecting your investment and managing potential repair costs. Different cars have different warranty terms, including for powertrain and bumper-to-bumper coverage. Knowing the exact level of warranty protection will help you determine whether you need to purchase extended coverage or factor potential repairs into your long-term budget.

What Financing Options Are Available?

Asking about financing options can help you secure the best deal on your new car. Dealerships often offer financing plans for leases and new and used car purchases. By inquiring about the options available to you and comparing interest rates, terms, and down payments, you can select the most cost-effective way of purchasing the vehicle you’re interested in.

On that note, it’s also wise to ask about promotions or discounts. Many dealerships have programs for students, military personnel, or members of specific organizations. Taking advantage of offers that apply to you can help you save even more on your purchase.

Can I Test-Drive the Car?

A test drive is your opportunity to assess how the vehicle feels and performs on the road. It allows you to check for comfort, visibility, and how well it suits your driving preferences. During the test drive, take your time and evaluate factors such as steering, braking, and noise levels to ensure the car aligns with your expectations.

Are There Any Additional Fees Included?

Ask about additional fees so you know the total out-the-door price. While you’ve likely focused on negotiating the car’s base price, there may be other legitimate costs, such as sales tax, registry, tire recycling, and documentation fees. Some dealerships may add extra fees to boost their profit, so early clarification helps avoid surprise charges.

This question also provides insight into the dealer’s negotiating strategy. Generally, it’s best to take your business elsewhere if the dealer isn’t willing to provide a straightforward answer.

What Is the Vehicle’s Depreciation Rate?

While often overlooked, understanding the depreciation rate can impact your long-term financial outlook. New cars depreciate over time, and some models hold their value better than others. Inquiring about depreciation can help you make a more informed choice if you plan to sell or trade in the vehicle.

Can You Deliver the Car?

For online car shoppers, asking if the dealer can deliver is a valuable query. If you’re satisfied with the deal but haven’t committed yet, requesting delivery can be a neat final touch to increase convenience. You can negotiate with the dealer to bring the car directly to your location, saving you a trip to the lot and avoiding in-person sales pitches for add-ons.

How Much Is the Documentation Fee?

Ask about the documentation fee at the dealership. All car dealers charge this fee for contract paperwork. While the amount varies by state, it’s typically non-negotiable, so focus your haggling efforts on the car’s price instead. By understanding and being prepared for additional fees, such as documentation, you can avoid choosing a vehicle that’s ultimately out of your budget.

Could I Have the Vehicle Inspected by My Mechanic?

Asking for a pre-purchase inspection is a valuable step before finalizing a used car purchase, but ensure you’re genuinely interested in the vehicle before making this request. This inquiry can help you gauge the dealer’s confidence in the car, and having a trusted mechanic inspect it provides peace of mind regarding your investment’s quality and condition.

While many dealerships — us included — have in-house mechanics that can perform pre-purchase inspections, you may want to opt for an independent professional for a more objective assessment. This removes any bias and helps prevent buyer’s remorse, which is more likely if you think you were sold a lemon or tricked into buying a car you don’t want or need.

Ready To Purchase Your Next Vehicle?

Choosing the right car is a significant decision, and we at Firkins are here to assist you every step of the way. Whether you’re ready to make that exciting new car purchase or have questions about the car-buying process, our dedicated sales team is eager to provide expert guidance. Our finance experts will work with you to ensure you secure the most cost-effective deal. We also have a dedicated service department to care for your automotive needs, so your new vehicle will stay in great condition for a long time.

Photo Credit: Buying a Car by Pictures of Money is licensed with CC BY 2.0 DEED

Posted in New Cars