A big hello to all the CarWoo! Chronicalites, I’m happy to announce that I am joining the team to bring you content geared toward our female readers. Not that it’s only for lady eyeballs – all of the topics I’ll be covering will be informative regardless of your gender, I promise.A time when women can feel particularly intimidated is when she’s in the market for a new or used car. Unless you were raised in a repair garage, you may not know a V-6 from a can of Spicy V8, but never fear! Here are 5 straightforward tips that will help you land that silver 2011 Toyota Prius you’ve been coveting.
- Do Your Research – This may sound like an absolute no-brainer, but a car is the kind of purchase you want to do PhD-level research on. Familiarize yourself with the Kelley Blue Book, which is a trusted resource for prices on all cars, especially if you plan on trading in your old ride. The Internet is rife with information on any model you like, so you can nail down the specifics on make, model, and features that you must have. The bottom line – go armed with plenty of information, because buyers who do more research get better deals (obvi).
- Make A “Want” and “Need” List – Some features will be a must for you. If you have kids, chances are the safety goodies (and resilient interior) will be more important to you than, say, a completely tricked-out sound system that could DJ a dance party. When you’re doing your research, make a list of features that are a must, and a second list of features that you’re willing to give up. This cheat-sheet will come in handy when you’re trying to negotiate a price – the features you swap in and out may make a significant impact on the final cost, and you don’t want to be weighing those options on the fly.
- Get Preapproved – Getting preapproved will help you to know exactly how much money you can spend, lessening the likelihood you’ll get talked into something you can’t afford. Plus, you’re actually more likely to get a better interest rate if you secure the loan on your own.
- Make a Personality Purchase – Lots of people dread the idea of negotiating price or going head-to-head with the stereotypical pushy car salesman. Thanks to the epic wonder of the interwebs, you can make sure the way you’re buying your car suits your personality as much as the car does. If making your decisions in your pj’s is your thing, then let a site like CarWoo! come in on the assist. Not only will you not feel rushed, but no one can tell your gender or level of auto know-how from behind a computer screen. The ultimate goal is to take your time and do what works for you – you’ll feel better about a purchase that you made your way.
- Consider the Extras – Sometimes the price can be right, but it pays to consider the extras. Call your friendly insurance provider once you’ve narrowed your choices down to avoid tacking on some serious coin to your bill. Average maintenance costs should be a factor, too. My princess of a BMW only likes synthetic oil, which takes the cost of an oil change from $35 to a wallet-depleting $150. That’s a major hit to my shoe collection, and one I need to factor into my bottom line buying budget. And while the cost of gas is skyrocketing, you may decide against investing in a Hummer, so check the size of the gas tank and the MPG (miles per gallon) estimated for each of your choices. That Honda Insight hybrid may cost more initially, but you may find that the gas savings make up the difference quite quickly.
See? Easy breezy. And if you’ve got any additional tips, feel free to share them in the comments. We love to learn new things.