The Most Important Tips For First-time Family Car Buyers

October 3, 2018

The Most Important Tips For First-time Family Car Buyers


In 2017, victims of online car buying scams lost more than 64 million and more than 17,000 cases of auto frauds were reported, according to the National White Collar Crime Control. Fraud, overpricing, and poor vehicle condition are among the most common problems that oblivious buyers experience. Purchasing a vehicle is one of the most significant risks one can make, especially if you do not know much about vehicles. How should you avoid scammers and untruthful salespersons? The answer to this is conducting sufficient research before visiting any dealership to ensure safety and to make the best of your purchase regarding price.

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Do your research

"When buying a car from a dealer, many people start backward by visiting the dealership before doing research," Jim Davidson, president of Carsmart told the star. He termed that as the worst thing to do because you might fall prey to pressure from salespeople and misinformation. "You want to buy the car that is best for you, and your family's needs, not necessarily what the dealer wants to sell that week. You should walk away from such pushy people," said Terry O'keefe of Ontario Motor vehicle Industry Council. When doing your homework, always keep in mind that online reviews can be fake and biased. In that line, Davidson advises using Consumer Reports, which is a non-profit organization that helps consumers make the most informed decisions.

Go for a test-drive and see a mechanic

Once you have settled on a model that suits your family’s needs, Davidson recommends visiting a minimum of 3 dealerships so that you get the best deal and that you should be clear you want to test it on the road. While driving the vehicle, take it to the highway, especially if it is a second hand. Bringing it to higher speeds could help identify any mechanical problems. Also, make sure to bring with you someone who understands the car in case you encounter difficulties.

"It would be a huge risk to turn money over to a private seller especially without getting a history report," O'Keefe says. He also advises that while asking for a history report is vital, a mechanic is better because they can find things that the seller failed to mention or did not even know about. Taking a car to a mechanic also helps to fish out scams and curbsiders, increasing your confidence about both the vehicle and the dealership.

O'Keefe recommends consumers to ask some serious questions to ensure they are not being scammed. These include how long the seller has owned the car if they have maintenance records and the reason for selling the car. In addition, whether you are buying a new or a used car, it is imperative that you know your rights as a buyer. This is particularly of use when it comes to signing contracts. "Many people assume that there is a cooling-off-period for all kinds of transactions, but there is none for vehicles. Do not sign a contract unless you are certain you want to complete the sale, " he says.