7 Common Car Shopping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Finding the right car for your needs requires knowing what can hinder your progress. Here are common car shopping mistakes and how to avoid them.

Over 17 million auto sales occurred last year—that’s a lot of new cars in the hands of excited consumers! If you’re preparing to join their ranks, you have a lot to think about.

When you’re ready to upgrade to a new car, there are a lot of questions. What are your priorities for this new vehicle, and what can you afford? What pitfalls should you avoid?

This is especially true when buying sports cars, or other luxury vehicles. If you have the money to purchase your dream vehicle, make sure everything is exactly right before signing on the dotted line.

If you’re not well-versed in this world, you may be worried about making car shopping mistakes. That’s why we’ve assembled this guide to help you identify 7 common car shopping mistakes—and how to avoid them!

1. Don’t Fall in Love Too Fast

Say you’ve been dreaming of a Ferrari since childhood. What’s not to love? The sleek, high-class legacy of a Ferrari is enviable, and it’s a great car.

However, popular car companies know exactly what they’re doing with their advertising dollars. With the right marketing angle, a Ferrari isn’t simply a car.

After all, no one buys a Ferrari just to have a practical vehicle to go grocery shopping in. A Ferrari’s legacy transcends the basic purpose of owning a vehicle. Instead, a Ferrari functions as a status symbol and a massive indicator of success.

With that being said, it’s easy to fall for the first Ferrari you see. Unlike buying other cars, you don’t have to worry that the spark plugs are bad or that the transmission will fail within a month.

You know you’re getting high quality for your money. With that in mind, it’s risky to fall in love with the first car you see. Just because it will practically work, and it ticks your boxes of what you wanted in a car, doesn’t mean it’s the one for you.

Instead, experts recommend that you take your time visiting dealerships, comparing car prices, and test driving cars. There are so many different types of cars available, and you shouldn’t settle!

2. Make Sure You’re Comfortable

In other words, don’t skimp on the test drive! Most dealerships have a carefully plotted test drive route. It’s meant to save time and reduce risk, which means they want you on the road for as little time as possible.

That way, there’s less chance of you getting into an accident before the car is properly yours. With that in mind, many test drives are short.

However, resist the temptation to follow the salesman’s path of right turns that lead you back to the dealership. You’re going to be spending many years in this car, which means you should take your time.

3. Don’t Feel Pressured 

For many people, the luxury purchase of a Ferrari or a Mercedes-Benz is the decision of a lifetime. With the proper care, this car could be passed down to your children or grandchildren!

This decision represents a lot of time, emotional investment, and money. People spend a lot of time in their cars, and they often become a second home for those that spend much of their life on the road.

With that in mind, don’t fall for any tricks that involve being told that a deal is only available if you sign immediately. Take your time to sleep on it!

4. Negotiate Online

Many people are uncomfortable with the entire concept of negotiation. It can feel too much like direct conflict, which many shy away from. If you feel very uncomfortable haggling, there’s a good reason!

In some cultures, haggling is considered the norm. It’s considered rude not to engage in a back-and-forth with the seller! Other cultures take haggling as rude, or as a sign that you can’t really afford the item you want.

This isn’t true when it comes to a car. The sticker price is a suggestion, which means you can often argue it down.

If you don’t feel comfortable haggling in person, you may be more comfortable doing it over email. Many dealerships have an online component where you can communicate digitally with them.

5. Don’t Focus on the Payment

Depending on how you choose to purchase your vehicle, you may choose to finance some or all of the amount. One of the most common car shopping mistakes is focusing on whether you can swing the monthly amount.

With interest added to that amount, it’s not about the monthly payment. Instead, it’s about the total amount.

Can you haggle the price down, and did you include all the features you wanted—not the ones a dealership wanted to sell you on?

6. Who Will Be Driving It?

Ferrari or Mercedes-Benz doesn’t really qualify as a family car. But if you and your partner will both be driving it, it’s important that you both take it for a test drive.

It might be tempting to let your partner take care of the car shopping, particularly if that’s their wheelhouse. But a car is a purchase that will follow you around for decades, and both drivers deserve to be comfortable in it.

7. Have A Third-Party Mechanic Inspect It

Of course, this step isn’t necessary for a new Ferrari. But if you are looking to purchase a classic car, the vehicle is decades old. It’s likely been passed through a number of hands, with a lot of miles put on it.

More problems with a used classic car are to be expected. For a classic piece, it’s usually worth it. But that doesn’t mean you want to go in blind, so take the time to get a mechanic to inspect it for you.

Avoiding Car Shopping Mistakes

Often, being ignorant of car shopping mistakes makes the entire experience more stressful. If that’s the case for you, take a deep breath!

You’re now armed with the knowledge you need to approach a car purchase with confidence. If you’re looking for a luxury car, contact us today! We’d be happy to help.