Buying a car is no more an easy decision. Gone are the days, when all a buyer has to do is to make a choice between very limited options, and that decision too, was based on what close friends or relatives had to say
Considering, a buyer now has so many options to choose from, he/she would like to have a simple checklist to help them clearly select a car that matches their needs. The information overflow from multiple internet sources or relative / friends biases, confuse buyers and that gives dealers / OEMs a huge opportunity to sell something that buyer actually may not have wanted
So, here are few tips listed that should help you take out some of those confusions and make more informed decisions about your next purchase
Step 1: Know what kind of buyer you are
Don't run behind the best car in the market. You need to understand your priorities and then find out a car that suits your needs. You could be
- A safety conscious buyer - wants your car to have all latest safety equipment
- An image driven buyer - want a certain brand or certain car style
- Looking for a feature loaded car
- One of those performance driven buyers, who look for that extra kick from their car's powertrain
- A value driven buyer - high mileage being a top priority
Whatever be your priorities, you should be able to clearly identify them. Even if you are one of those methodical shoppers, who want to cover every base, you should be able to clearly prioritize your requirements
Step 2: Use your priorities to create a shortlist of your shopping options
Think of what kind of lifestyleyou have and what kind of activities you want to experience in your new vehicle. This should help you better define each of your priority and create a shortlist of choices. Some factors that count include
- What is your budget?
- Are you looking for any specific body type?
- Are you biased towards a certain powertrain type - petrol, diesel or alternatives?
- What are your priorities - Quality, after-sales, performance, comfort or mileage, or are you the one who has safety as one of the top of mind considerations
These constraints or priorities will help you shortlist few good cars that fit your needs
You can work with WheelMonk.com to get to that list. Wheel Monk not only tries to assess each of the existing models as per your requirements, but also uses other parameters that are critical for purchase decisions. It accesses more than 50,000 verified owner's feedback, provided by J.D. Power, along with industry expert feedback and actual car specifications to shortlist the right cars for you.
So no more running around, asking people for their feedback. It's all available for you at a click of a button!
Step 3: Compare your shortlisted options
You can use your shortlist to start comparing top options across various parameters.
- On Road Car Price, including any ongoing OEM / Dealer offers
- Product features and styling
- Technical Parameters
- Expert Opinions
- Previous Owner feedback
- Product Quality
- Service Quality
- Ease of Maintenance
- Overall cost of ownership, including depreciation of vehicle
This is an especially helpful exercise when you are down to just a few vehicles and want to compare finer points or features
WheelMonk.com helps you effortlessly analyze your choices before making your final decision
For your final shortlisted options, identify the closest dealers. Now you are ready to experience the vehicle first-hand.
Step 4: Test Drive the Car
While before and during test drive, the salesperson will provide you as much information as possible, but always remember that his goal would be to sell the vehicle. So he'll be highlighting the areas where the model does better than competition and probably not disclosing weaknesses.
With you research, you should be able to either validate some of those weaknesses. Also utilize this opportunity to get up close to car, not just from dynamic testing perspective, but also from static evaluation point. Check for overall finish, color, gaps, cargo space, ease of getting in and out of car, features, etc. Put special focus on things that matter most to you.
Now that you've completed a thorough walk-around, you can concentrate on the driving experience. Be sure to drive bothon city roads and highways. Some key areas to watch out for will include
- Noise or Vibrations while driving
- Acceleration on city roads and highways
- Handling in terms of maneuvering comfort
- Overall Ride Comfort
Step 5: Finalizing the purchase and closing the deals
If you are not in hurry, it would be ideal to know, what the right time of purchase is. Typically there are periods when OEM / Dealer offer discounts. Understand those critical time points and check if you can plan purchase during that period. To find out more, read the article: Negotiating the Deal
Some of the things to consider while making the purchase
- Exchange Schemes - Do you want to trade-in your old car for the newer car? While its easy to do it at the dealership, you should know that a dealer will only offer you a price which is lower than the market price. So it is advisable to sell it in the open market
- Accessories - Decide to go for few accessories. Before finalizing the purchase from dealer, check the availability of similar accessories in the open market. OEM accessories supplied by dealers are typically higher priced than similar alternates in the market
- Extended Warranty - While it is recommended to go for extended warranty, before making your choice, be aware of all the terms and conditions and terminologies before finalizing your decision
- Financing - Always keep your options open. Check with various banks on loan options and rates and also check the pre-closure terms and conditions.
- Insurance - Dealers typically get a huge margin from insurer on selling the policies along with car. So if you are going through dealer, try to negotiate a good discount or you can shop around to get the best deals Don't forget to transfer and claim your NCB on the new car, in case you are selling older car and haven't made any claims during the last insurance duration
There are many other advice articles on the topics mentioned above and you can refer to Advice section on Wheelmonk.com to read further.