You may not know it, but gender greatly affects the car-buying process. Women have a harder time buying a car compared to their male counterparts. This is despite their high overall consumer purchase rating. Statistics show that women account for 65% of all new car purchases.
However, they spend a longer time at the dealership before making a car purchase than men. So, what can women do to make the process more seamless? Here are the top four tips smart women should apply when buying a car.
1 Do Your Research Beforehand
Salespeople always assume that women are less knowledgeable about cars than men. As a result, they’ll tell you exactly what they think you want to hear, says one sales associate from Texas Direct Auto. Avoid falling for this trap by arming yourself with sufficient information. Know what you want in a car before walking into the dealership.
Use the internet to research your ideal car and similar cars. Also, visit multiple dealer websites and compare their offers. Don’t forget to visit car review sites to find out the true market value of the vehicle you intend to buy.
2 Determine What You Can Afford
After conducting thorough research on cars, the next step is setting a realistic budget and sticking to it. The budget should factor in the car’s total price, monthly payments, maintenance, and other expenses. You should spend no more than 10% of your take-home pay on a car loan payment.
Do not solely focus on the monthly payments. Know the must-have features and see if you can afford a car with them. You can contact friends and family who drive the same model and ask them the cost of ownership.
3 Don’t Yield to Pressure and Buy Extras You Don’t Need
Always ask the dealer to give you some time to think if you are unsure about something. Most car salesmen get paid on commission basis and will try to entice you to get other add-ons to raise their income. This is mostly the case if the salesperson realizes a different lender will be financing the purchase. You don’t need to buy the car the same day. You can always go home and think about it then go back later.
4 Time Your Purchase
Salespeople earn huge bonuses when they achieve their monthly sales goals. Most dealerships and auto companies set targets for every quota—March, June, September, or December. You can save a lot of money if you buy a car at the end of the month or the last month of the quota. During this time, dealers rush to hit their targets before the next quota starts. They are more willing to give huge discounts as long as they cover their sales target for that period.
Car buying can be a grueling process and more difficult for women because many dealers assume they aren’t knowledgeable about cars. The only way to ensure you get a good deal is to research the vehicle you want and determine what you can afford. Stick to your budget and avoid the temptation to buy extras you did not budget for. Remember that the best time to buy a car is at the end of the month or quota when most car dealers rush to meet their sales target.
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