Buying a car can be both exciting and stressful. It’s fun to shop for a vehicle that you’ll enjoy driving, but your new ride also needs to be safe, reliable and within your budget. As you search for your new set of wheels, avoid these car-buying mistakes so that safety and savings remain top priorities.
Common Car-buying Mistakes to Avoid
Getting Stuck on Style
Succumbing to style is a common car-buying mistake, but choosing certain vehicles could mean compromising your safety. Data shows the risk for accidents is higher when driving a sports car or small vehicle. In fact, sports cars have the highest deadly accident rate at 4.6 cars per billion vehicle miles, while subcompact cars clocked in at a rate of around 4.5 cars per billion vehicle miles — nearly double the average. Instead, consider an SUV. Crash rates are lower for drivers in SUVs and other large vehicles.
Compromising Safety for Savings
A deal is only good if it’s attached to a trustworthy car. Thoroughly research the vehicle models you’re considering before you buy. Buying a too-cheap car might end up being the worst mistake for your finances if you have to make frequent trips to the repair shop. Our online car-buying calculator can help you compare costs. You may find that a more reliable vehicle is not much more expensive than others.
Paying for Unnecessary Extras
Dealerships often try to sell extras such as fabric protection, paint protectant or rustproofing. Don’t waste your money. Vehicle bodies are already coated to protect against rust.
Instead, make use of inexpensive, quality, off-the-shelf products to wash and wax the car and to keep the upholstery clean and free of stains.
Failing to Research Insurance Coverage and Discounts
When you’re looking to buy a car, do your research to find the right auto insurance policy. First, look into the cost of insurance for the particular car you’re interested in. Second, remember that accidents and violations, as well as your age, can affect the premium you pay for your insurance. Your Farm Bureau agent can help you explore types of coverage and available discounts, which will both affect your premium.
Purchasing a Too-old Car
Buying a used car can be a way to get a reliable vehicle for less money. But getting behind the wheel of a model that’s more than 20 years old could pose safety risks since these models are less likely to have features such as electronic stability control — which helps drivers maintain control on curves and slippery roads — and side air bags. If you decide to buy a used car, make sure you prioritize safety features in your search.
Skipping a Trip to the Mechanic
Even the most reliable vehicle can fail its driver if not properly maintained. Before buying a used vehicle, have it checked out by a mechanic familiar with diagnostic work. A good mechanic will identify whether the car has been in a significant accident or has a costly problem. And make sure you request a written report of the car’s condition and use it in your price negotiations with the seller.
Protect your new ride with adequate car insurance coverage. Connect with a Farm Bureau agent today to get the right policy for your needs.