Seniors purchasing a car can find incredible deals if they take the right steps. Making an informed decision requires laying some groundwork ahead of hitting the dealership lots. The price is not the only factor to consider.
Maintenance, features, gas mileage, and many other factors go into making a wise car-buying decision. With the following helpful tips and tricks, you are sure to not only find the right car for you but to feel confident and enjoy the process along the way.
Type of Car
To understand what’s a good deal, older adults first need to know precisely the kind of car they want to purchase. Consider your needs carefully. While a bright red sports car that can go zero to sixty in twelve seconds is cool, it does not exactly fit the everyday needs of seniors. Are you looking to buy a sedan? Want to purchase a van? Or does an SUV suit your needs best? Getting a good deal on a car as an older adult will require a heavy dose of practicality and an understanding of what you will be using the vehicle for. Consider the following:
- What will you use the car for most? Visiting your kids across state lines or trips to the grocery store down the street?
- How is the mobility of you and your partner? Consider getting in and out of the car, as well as storing items like walkers.
- Do you watch your grandkids often and thus need extra features like bucket seats or screens?
Understanding your car needs on an everyday basis will help you to narrow in on exactly the vehicle you are looking for, which means when it comes time to purchase, you can make the right and smartest move.
Time of the Year Matters
For seniors looking for a good deal on cars, the time of year you purchase can be crucial. Toward the end of the year, dealerships that are left with unsold inventory will likely be more motivated to offer great prices to get their stock off the lot and to make room for next year’s models. It can be fun to purchase this year’s models, but at the end of the day, it does not really matter that much. Consider other factors that are important like cloth vs. leather seats or navigation systems– the right features will make up the car you want, not necessarily the model year.
New vs. Used
Should seniors buy new or used cars? When beginning their car buying journey, many people struggle with this question. Carefully consider your budget and determine how much you would like to spend on a new car. From there, your options will be more narrow, and you can see both new and used car options in your budget. Buying a pre-owned car means you need to consider worn down breaks, tires, and even a well-loved interior, so be sure you are purchasing a used car from a reputable place. If you are buying a used car from a private individual, be sure to take the car to a local garage and have it thoroughly checked before making any decisions. Buying a used car can be an excellent and budget-friendly solution; it just requires a little extra time and consideration.
Do Your Research
The best way for seniors to get a good deal on used cars is to do research. There are many forums and websites that detail the pros and cons of various car models, as well as price compare for you. If you belong to any associations like AAA or AARP, you can inquire with them about their auto buying services. These associations will often have an option in which members can enjoy exclusive discounts, percentages off factory warranties, and even assistance in the actual purchasing and negotiation of the car. If you are an inexperienced car buyer or do not have much time to dedicate to the process, this can be a great option to save both time and money. Do all the research you can, after all, the more you arm yourself with knowledge, the higher the chances are of you making an informed and smart decision.
Dedicate a few weekends to going out to lots and dealerships and combing through their inventory. Do not be afraid to expand the circumference of your search, either. If you look at dealerships all close by to one another in the same city, you may encounter the same price of cars. Try neighboring cities and towns and speak to different dealerships about what you are looking for. Seniors buying a vehicle should also consider comparison shopping online. Sites like Cars.com and Truecar.com make shopping easy for you by offering comparison on vehicle features, models, and prices all online.
How to Know You’re Not Getting Ripped off
When older adults set out to purchase a car, it is crucial they protect themselves as not to get ripped off. If you are considering a used car, ask for a Carfax report so you are well aware of any accidents or work the car may have undergone. If you are not so knowledgeable about cars in general, take a friend who is. A second pair of eyes can be extremely valuable in ensuring you are getting a great deal on a vehicle.
Buying a car is a very exciting and fun process if you take all the right steps. Carefully consider your needs so that you begin the process with a focused and strategic approach. Be open to shopping in a time-sensitive manner- like at the end of the year, when many vehicles go on sale to make room for next year’s models. Comparison shop in person or online to understand accurate pricing for models and features that have piqued your interest. Lastly, always take a buddy with you to ensure you are considering all relevant factors and not just falling in love with the first car you see. Most importantly, take your time and enjoy the car buying process!