Question of the Day: What’s Your Best Car Buying Advice?

Question of the Day: What's Your Best Car Buying Advice?

Hi, we haven’t been officially introduced to each other yet, but I am the man who once studied your auto shopping habits and armed them against you. Correction: I used to be the man.

I’ll spare you the details, but those days are over. I am now here to be your ally during these unprecedented car buying days. Sure, I have some tips and inside info, but I want to hear yours first.

Namely, what advice do you give new car buyers when shopping? Picture this: a cloudless, blue summer day, an afternoon in the sun, getting some vitamin D with friends. Inevitably, the conversation turns to cars—as always when you’re around—and a friend intervenes: “You know a lot about cars. What do you know about the new Puntiac Remorsa? I want to buy one.”

You, always the expert, agree with your best tip: “Actually, I know a lot. If you’re in the market for a Puntiac, keep in mind that the Remorsa BFE is the volume finish and the best bang for your buck. Start there.”

Smart – and correct. But also invented. (Although Remorsa a beautiful car name.)

What I mean is: you have your own advice. And I want to hear it.

Me? I’ll start. Coming from the inside, I can say that most shoppers don’t shop for types of cars; most shoppers start with a brand in mind first. That’s probably not the best idea, and here’s why: Your friendly local Isuzu/Eagle dealer is expertly trained to get you started with Eagle Summit money, but sell you a Talon instead. What does that mean? They know you walk the grounds thinking you want “a Toyota” or “a BMW” rather than a specific model. They’ll find the model that stretches your budget to the breaking point, with the longest loan they can take out† It functions.

It pays to know what you need (rather than what you want) and buy competitors from other brands. Don’t just shop Toyota; buy a small commercial vehicle from multiple automakers. You’re less likely to get a loan you don’t want for a car you don’t need from a seller you shouldn’t trust.

But enough about the underbelly of the biz. Let’s hear from you. Leave a comment below and help a fellow shopper who needs some sunny advice from a friend.