5 Essential Tips When Shopping for a New Car After an Accident
Your vehicle has been involved in an accident, and now you have to shop for a new one. The search can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. We have a few tips to make the process less stressful and to ensure you get the right vehicle — for the right price.
- Prioritize Needs Over Wants
Modern cars come with a variety of enticing features and, before you know it, you may find yourself prioritizing heated leather seats over all else. The available bells and whistles in the vehicles you’re looking at can be distracting, so be careful not to let what you want overshadow what you need. Enter a car dealership with a list of the features you must have in a vehicle, and don’t stray from your list. Consider the type of vehicle that best suits you: do you need a small car with good gas mileage, an SUV with ample space, or a midsize car with a luxury interior? What will you use your vehicle for most? Answering questions like these and creating your must-have list is the first step in sticking to your budget.
- Do Your Research
To avoid overspending and get the best value, do your research. This includes contacting your bank or credit union to determine your financing options. Enter a dealership knowing the loan amount and interest rate you qualify for. Without this information, you risk being lured into the dealer’s financing, which is often not the most cost-effective choice.
In addition to researching financing options, you should also research vehicle safety ratings. Safercar.gov uses a five-star system to rate vehicle safety and also provides a helpful tool for researching a vehicle’s recall history, including any repairs that have been made as a result. The more you know about a vehicle before buying it, the better decisions you can make.
Researching recalls before you shop is especially important since used car sellers are not required by law to inform consumers like you about unrepaired safety recalls.
- Compare the Pros, Cons, and Price for Leasing and Buying
Another decision you’ll need to make is whether to lease or buy. Low-cost lease options can be alluring but are sometimes too good to be true. Forbes points out that very few buyers will qualify for the tax benefits available through leasing. You can talk to an accountant or financial advisor to determine if leasing is a viable option based on your budget. Edmunds also has some handy cost calculators to determine what is available to you based on your budget.
- Decide Whether You Want a New or Used Vehicle
The age-old question “should I buy new or used?” is not easily answered. Depreciation discourages many shoppers from buying new vehicles. According to Autotrader, “on average, a new car loses between 20 and 30 percent of its value the moment it rolls off the dealer’s lot,” and “some cars can depreciate up to 50 percent in the first three years.” However, despite depreciating value, the threat of spending money on repairs — and the inconvenience of not knowing when something will break or how long it will take to fix — discourages many shoppers from buying used vehicles.
The answer may be to seek middle ground and opt for a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle. CPO vehicles are thoroughly inspected according to manufacturer standards, and they often come with extended warranties and attractive price points. Car and Driver estimates that two-year old CPO vehicles cost as much as 25 percent less than they would new, and four-year old CPO vehicles can cost as much as 40 percent less.
- Take Your Time
Whether you’re considering new or used, buying or leasing, the most important thing to remember is not to rush your decision. We understand that after an accident, you’re eager to replace your vehicle and may even need a new vehicle as soon as possible. However, rushing into a purchase gives the dealer leverage and impacts your ability to negotiate. Take your time, explore your options, and don’t get so attached to a vehicle that you’re willing to overlook your budget and must-have list. Patient shoppers are savvy shoppers, and savvy shoppers make better choices.
Defective Vehicle? Injured in a Crash? Contact Hossley Embry Today.
Even the savviest of shoppers can be victims of defective vehicle parts, which injure an estimated 38.9 million people per year. And it’s also possible that you wouldn’t even need that new vehicle if someone else had been a safer driver.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, please call Hossley Embry at (877) 535-4529 for a free consultation. We are committed to protecting your rights and seeking justice on your behalf.
11 common car-buying mistakes. (2016). Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/pictures/emkh45ekm/11-common-car-buying-mistakes/
Heaps, R. (2012, April). 4 questions to help you decide on a new or used car. Autotrader. Retrieved from http://www.autotrader.com/car-shopping/4-questions-to-help-you-decide-on-a-new-or-used-car-167808
Reed, P. (2014, January 2). Should you lease or buy your car? Edmunds. Retrieved from https://www.edmunds.com/car-leasing/should-you-lease-or-buy-your-car.html
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. (2013, June 14) 2012 annual report to the president and congress. Retrieved from http://www.cpsc.gov//Global/About-CPSC/Reports/Annual-Reports/FY12AnnualReport.pdf
White, A. (2016, June). What you need to know about certified pre-owned (cpo) car programs.
Car and Driver. Retrieved from http://www.caranddriver.com/features/what-you-need-to-know-about-certified-pre-owned-cpo-car-programs-feature