9. Underestimating the importance of F&I
You've negotiated the deal, and you're headed to the finance and insurance office (F&I). You're in the home stretch, right? Wrong. While this step seems like an afterthought, it's actually an essential part of the deal-making process, says Reed. "F&I is where the verbal promises made by the salesperson are carefully put into the contract. It's also where they try to sell you extra things, such as extended warranties, gap insurance, etc. that can wind up costing you more than anticipated."
This is another place where research pays off. If you think you might want an extended warranty, check out what they cost and negotiate for a better deal.
10. Taking dealership financing without shopping around
The convenience of one-stop shopping at the dealership can be hard to pass up, but it's smarter to look into financing with local banks or your credit union first. Better yet, get a pre-approval for a car loan
before you get to the dealership. You will know exactly how much you can afford to spend on the car, and you'll immediately know if the dealer can offer you a better deal on the interest rate.
11. Buying under pressure
You may hear that a car is "the deal of a lifetime" that happens to only be good on that particular day. But shopping for, buying and driving away with a car in just a few hours is unwise. After all, this is a major purchase that can affect you financially for years to come, so you have the right
to sleep on it. And Reed points out that when you express hesitation, you may well get a better offer later on. If you get too much pressure to buy the car that very day, it may be best to walk away.
With any major purchase, it pays to be informed and prepared. Now that you're aware of these common car buying mistakes, you can ensure you'll find the right car for your family — as well as getting the most bang for your buck. Who knows? You might actually enjoy
the process this time around!