New Year New Car: 2018 Buying Guide

Whether you’re making a new addition to the family, got a new job with a longer commute, or just want a fun car because of an existential crisis, it’s time for a new car in 2018. However, first-time car buyers in Memphis might find that purchasing a vehicle isn’t as easy as they thought. Before heading into the showroom, check out these tips to make the purchase quick, easy, and stress-free.

Get Pre-Approved


Image via Flickr by yonkershonda

If you’re like one of 107 million other Americans, you will probably take out a loan for some or all of the price of the new vehicle. Getting pre-approved for such a loan helps take out most of the guesswork for the equation. To get a pre-approval, march over to a brick and mortar location of a bank or credit union or apply at one of these institutions online. If it’s your first time securing financing, talking to a bank representative is beneficial and puts your mind at ease.

After checking your credit, verifying your income, and determining your debt-to-income ratio, they can give you an estimate of how much you can borrow and what your interest rate is. This will help you create a budget so you don’t overspend. You may also want to weigh the pros and cons of leasing a car, as it may work out better for your situation.

Narrow Your Search

Once you know how much you can spend or how much you’re willing to spend on your new car, it’s time to narrow your search to a handful of vehicles. Don’t let this stress you out — it’s one of the most exciting parts of the car-buying process. Make a list of the features you want in your car, such as safety requirements, cargo space, passenger capacity, fuel economy, engine size, or whatever else is high on your priority list. With this list in hand, you can start seeing which cars work for you.

If you find yourself lacking the inspiration or knowledge to create the list, let consumer groups and car reviewers do the work for you. These websites drive and rank vehicles based on the likes and dislikes of pros or amateur drivers just like you. Plus, the pictures they post are particularly helpful if you want a specific style.

Head to the Dealership

Before you pull the trigger on a new car, make sure to test drive it. Reviews can’t tell you how you’ll enjoy the ride in a car, and even one small thing like tiny cupholders or a loud cabin can make you change your mind.

When everything’s as you like it, it’s time to put on your negotiation face. Most dealers expect you to haggle for the price, so come armed with documents that show online quotes, other dealer quotes, and blue book value. If you feel pinched, don’t hesitate to go somewhere else. However, playing your cards right can often get you the car you want at a price you’ll love.

If you complete all the steps to this guide, you should feel excited and ecstatic about your car purchase. The only thing left to do is showcase your new purchase while cruising down Beale Street. Chances are, you won’t have another experience quite like it.