8 Car Buying Mistakes And How to Avoid Them

Written By: Jerry Reynolds | Nov 9, 2021 12:51:00 PM

Each week, I hear from listeners who've been thwarted by making classic car buying mistakes, without even knowing it. So, here is a handy list of 8 common mistakes people make and tips on how you can avoid them.

#1: Not Trusting Your Gut.

This one is easy to avoid. Trust your instincts, you have them for a reason. If something doesn't feel right, either with the business or salesperson, leave.

#2: Believing Everything You Read Online

Choose reputable sources when researching a vehicle or getting dealership info. Also, understand that often dealership prices are 'bait and switch' prices just to get you in the door.

#3: Rushing The Paperwork Process

Do yourself a favor. Slow down. Read what you sign so you aren't surprised down the road to find extras you didn't know about or an extended warranty. Paperwork is tedious, but read it all. You are signing a legal, binding contract.

#4: Taking An Improper Test Drive

Don't buy the car of your dreams without driving it. A 'similar' vehicle won't do. Test drive the one you want to drive off the lot with, so you don't start out with problems or overlook options that are important to you.

#5: Not Knowing Your Credit Score

Know where your credit stands. Less than trustworthy dealers will try to work bad credit to their advantage and could result in you paying a higher price and interest rate.

#6: Playing Games With The Dealer

Don't withhold info from a dealership, like whether or not you have a trade-in, or how you are paying for the car. Good dealerships won't play games with you, so in return, you shouldn't play games with them.'

#7: Not Knowing Interest Rates

If you have a bank or credit union, find out what rate they can give you. Then give the dealership the chance to meet or beat the rate.

#8: Leasing When You Shouldn't

Don't get caught up in a lower monthly payment if there is any risk of driving over the mileage limits. It'll cost you a pretty penny in the end. Also, long-term 42-month or longer leases are a bad idea, and I also never recommend 3rd party leasing companies. Check out the leasing section on the Car Pro FAQ page for more on this.

If you can avoid these mistakes, you'll get a much better overall deal and a happy ownership experience.

Photo Credit: ESB Professional/