It Doesn't Need to Be Stressful: How to Get the New Car That's Right for You

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There's something exciting about buying your first new car. You may have owned used cars throughout the years, but there's only one first new car. Now that you're ready to make that big step into auto ownership, be prepared for the process. Here are a couple tips that will help you get the car that's right for you.

Do Your Research

Before you grab your checkbook and head to the dealership, make sure you do your research on new cars for sale. It helps to know as much as you can about the cars you're interested in, especially since you'll be driving the car for at least a few years.

Online Research

Before you choose a car, take the time to do some online research. Don't just visit sites promoted by the manufacturer. They'll provide you with the vital statistics, but they might not give you all the information you need about owning a particular car. Instead, visit customer forums, places where owners discuss issues they might be having with their cars. That way you'll be able to identify potential issues before you settle on a car.

Real-Time Research

Once you've done your online research, do some real-time research. Talk to people who own the type of car you're interested in. Find out how they like their car, and if they would recommend it to others. Doing this is another good way to weed out the problems that you don't want to deal with. It's also a good idea to visit a few different dealerships. Ask them about the cars that they carry, including what preferences they might have.

Take a Real Test Drive

When you're in the process of buying a new car, every dealership will invite you to take a test drive. In most cases, they'll have you follow a pre-determined route that will take you along city streets. The test drive may take up to about 15 minutes.

Unfortunately, a 15 minute test drive along a pre-determined route isn't the best way to get the feel for a car you're thinking about buying. When you're ready to take a test drive, make sure it's beneficial to you. Let the sales person know that you're going to take your time on the test drive. Spend a few minutes adjusting the seats and the mirrors. Get a feel for how the interior fits you personally. Once you're on the road, spend some time on different road types. Go through some city streets to get the feel for the stop-and-go handling of the car. Finally, take the car onto a freeway or highway, so that you can check out the acceleration and maneuverability of the car. The longer test drive will let you get a real feel for the car you're considering.