A lot has changed over the last year including car shopping. Many of us found ourselves driving less last year, but as things change so does driving and cars. Car shopping has changed drastically over the years since I began driving, but even more the last year. My husband and I began thinking about trading in our older car to upgrade to one that was AWD and newer. When we bought our house, we knew we would get snow a few times a year and an AWD would make more sense. Last year we traded in our Ford hatchback and we became a Subaru family with our black Subaru Legacy that we absolutely LOVE. It is a great family car that was one of the top rated for safety for the year. It’s been such a great car for us which is why it was a no brainer to look at adding another one to our family. But let’s face it, car shopping is not even the same as it was in 2019. Here’s what I wish I would’ve known…
Did you know you can virtually buy a car nowadays? Due to the pandemic and safety concerns, many dealerships have altered the car shopping experience. Most likely it’s for good. Many car dealerships now keep their entire inventory online on their website. A majority of dealerships offer video appointments with a sales rep and some will even deliver your car to test drive. Credit checks, paperwork, and final delivery can often take place without you ever having to step foot in the dealership. Crazy right?
Did you know you can even shop around financing before you even go to the dealership? You are now able to get pre-approved beforehand which makes it easier to know how much you were approved for, what price range you are working with, and about how much your payments will be. Plus, it saves a ton of time!
Always check your credit score before car shopping. A higher credit score makes for lower interest rates. When you are looking at buying, try to keep your car loan terms as low as possible. For example, try to stick to 7 years or less. Also, don’t hesitate to shop around for deals. We looked for weeks before finding my new car and I am so happy we did. Right now many car dealerships are running low on inventory and only get shipments every so often. I recommend speaking with a sales rep if you are looking for a specific type of car. You can also go online and you can often reserve the car you want. If you are looking for deals, end of year sales are happening right now!
Buying a car is a big deal and a huge investment so I highly recommend taking a look at what your needs are and doing research before you begin car shopping.