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5 Tips on Buying a New or Used Car Amid Inflation

The world is in a global recession now, with skyrocketing prices of everything from groceries to houses. The car industry is one of the hardest hits by burgeoning costs due to semiconductor shortages and supply chain issues. The demand for cars has rebounded post-pandemic, but the inventory remains short, resulting in even more inflationary pressure. Anyone searching for a new or used car is having a hard time. If you successfully buy a car, you should consider taking advantage of the best extended car warranty to protect your investment.

Car shoppers must expect fierce competition for new vehicles as automakers struggle to meet the market’s demands. With inventory shortages, it is a seller’s market right now. If you are looking for low-priced cars, Used Cars Minnesota can help you find the best ones on the market and connect you with different dealers to match your price range.

Even prices for old cars have spiked so high that some three-year-old cars could cost just as much as a new one, depending on the make and model. When shopping for a new or used vehicle, you must contend with markups, little discounts, a lack of promos, and limited choices. There’s also more pressure for you to move on with the purchase. Considering all these, here are five tips on buying a new or used car amid inflation.

Figure Out Financing Ahead

Since competition is fierce, you must figure out your budget and how much car price you can afford. Refrain from borrowing excessively since a car is a depreciating asset. It’s not wise to get a loan with jacked-up interest rates and poor terms since the car will lose value in the next couple of years. Prearrange financing based on what you can make as down and monthly payments. And make it a point to read the loan terms and conditions.

Working with your bank or credit union before shopping around in a dealer or used car lot would be best. With this on hand, you’ll have a baseline to compare dealer financing or secondhand car loans. Moreover, you can immediately snap up the car you like if you arrange financing ahead. Again, it’s a challenging market now, so there may not be much room for negotiation compared to years back. It’s best to come prepared.

Research Beforehand

Whether you’re shopping for a new or new-to-you vehicle, the dealer may not have what you’re looking for in stock. Before you head out and waste gas going around town, it’s a good idea to check the website and call customer service to see what they have. In today’s challenging market, it’s a big possibility that the dealer doesn’t have what you’re looking for. More importantly, if you have a car you’re set on, it’s critical to check the following:

  • Reliability of car
  • Road test results
  • Safety of vehicle
  • Owner satisfaction

Create a short list of vehicles you want to test-drive to save time. It would help to have a good understanding of the car features you want. This can help you make a sound choice.

Consider Ordering Directly From the Manufacturer

If you’re buying a new car, one way to avoid dealer markup is to order directly from the manufacturer. This ensures you get the model, color, and options you want. Most importantly, this saves on dealer fees and insurance for parking the car on site. All these savings are passed on to you. However, you must be willing to wait at least six weeks for the car to arrive. Forgoing the convenience of having the vehicle immediately is a small price for not paying for dealership add-ons.

Widen Your Geographic Search

Consider car sellers outside your usual comfort zone if dealers or used car lots near you don’t offer what you like. But, of course, don’t go too far either because you don’t want to waste gas. Whether you’re buying used or new, you want to see the actual car and take it for a test drive. This is imperative before signing the contract, especially for used vehicles. You want to see how the car drives and assess if it’s genuinely what you want and need since you’ll be sitting behind the wheels to commute daily.

Select a Reliable Vehicle

Since both new and used cars are priced at an all-time high, buying a reliable vehicle is important. You’ll get a better value for your money if you keep the vehicle longer. Check ratings and reviews to ascertain that you’re getting a reliable vehicle that won’t give you problems down the line.

Whether you’re shopping for a new or pre-loved car, do your due diligence. Decide ahead which car features are non-negotiable for you. Researching and planning ahead means you can find more affordable options.

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