Top Mistakes Car Buyers Make 

Being a first time car buyer can seem scary, so many things to take into consideration, it’s not all just about finding “the one”. They say the only way to actually learn is by doing – but making a mistake when buying a car can cost you thousands and could affect your credit for years to come. Follow our guide to help you stay within your budget and leave with the car you need, want and love all within your spending limits.


Mistake #1 – Not doing research

There are many dealers to choose from with hundreds of cars, don’t just stop at the dealer closest to you and think “yup, this is the one”. Take time to research not only the vehicle but the dealer too – look at opinions, experience, reputation and financing. Take your time, call around and don’t just pick the first one.

Mistake #2 – Assuming the dealer has the power

Knowledge is power – so know your stuff. If you do your research you won’t go into the dealership feeling vunerable and nervous. Some dealers notice this and use it to their advantage. See what financing options they offer – a good dealer will be prepared to offer more options to suit your needs to gain a satisfied customer – if you don’t get a straight answer – look elsewhere.


Mistake #3 – Looking at Monthly Payments or Zero Down

Low monthly payments or zero down payment offers can hide the true cost of a vehicle – with all the extra things such as full coverage insurance and maintenance can easily double a low monthly payment option – less expensive cars are less expensive to finance and lead to less costs down the road.


Mistake #4 – Accepting Long Term Financing

Some car buyers go for 84 months instead or 72 or even 48 – this increases the cars overall cost in the end – sometimes upwards of 3000$ just to make the monthly payments smaller. Consider a less expensive car or a bigger down payment.


Mistake #5 – New is Better

People buy new cars as a first car and think new is better – it’s the best option. When really buying used is an excellent option. New cost more, suffers from value loss in the first year and you need higher insurance – used cars tend to be the opposite. With better maintenance, cars with over 60,000 km and even over 100,000 km can last significantly longer than before. Car buyers could benefit and save thousands by buying used.


Mistake #6 – Picking the Car They Love Over Their Needs

Car buyers fall in love with a car just because of something like looks, performance or options of the car over their actual needs. Sports cars are fun but it doesn’t make sense as a family car or a commuter. When buying consider your needs above anything. if you need help to stay on track when shopping take a level headed friend.


Mistake #7 – Letting Yourself Get Pressured 

Some dealers can sense new car buyers the instant they walk into the building and they feel the need to pressure you into buying. Listen for pressure tactics such as “This deal is only good, today” or “What’s it going to take to get you in this car, tonight?” instead look for people who say “what are you looking for in a car?” or “Lets look at vehicles in your budget”. Even if you love a car, if you feel pressured be prepared to walk away.


Mistake #8 – Not Test Driving a Car

Once you’ve shopped around and narrowed a car down to the specifics (such as year, make and model) don’t just say YES. Two of the same car might be completely different in the way they feel and drive. Ask to drive them all and make sure its the one YOU want.

Mistake #9 – Not Understanding an Auto Finance Contact 

Understanding the contract you’re going to sign is the most important part. It may seem like the easiest but it can be where they trick you. After discussing prices and financing etc. make sure everything you talked about with the dealer is on the bill of sale – doing a line-by-line check with the dealer should reveal everything you’ve asked for and none of what you didn’t.


Buying a vehicle for the first time or the tenth time can be stressful, keeping these mistakes and the solutions in mind when you shop can help narrow down any issues and make it a more enjoyable experience. Here at Auto City we like to make the whole experience as easy and pain free as possible, making sure you leave our lot with the perfect car for you at the best rate possible.