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July 16, 2021

Buying a Car in 2021: What to Expect

Questions to ask when you are shopping for a vehicle.

The pandemic not only changed our driving habits in 2020 but also the market as well. Vehicle production worldwide decreased due to factory closures, limited staffing, and a shortage in parts. This resulted in fewer cars being available at dealerships and prices getting bumped higher. This has changed the traditional car shopping experience, with customers buying cars online and having contactless delivery for vehicles. If you are considering buying a car, here are a few questions to ask:

When is the best time to buy a car?

The best time to buy a car is when you need it and you feel ready to make this big purchase. Car buying can take weeks to close a deal and can be stressful. But if you are an avid shopper and you are looking for the time of the year for the best deals, it would be the end of the calendar year. Used cars tend to stay at a certain price and only lower the older the car gets,but if you are looking to get a new car, the best deals are at the end of the year. Although all dealerships are different, you might have better luck scouting for deals and discounts in the fall.

What do I need to consider before purchasing a car?

The overall cost of owning a car is the biggest factor to consider. Other than the initial payment for the car itself, be aware of the costs it will take for upkeep and to fill it with gas. Make sure you have money within your budget set aside for insurance, gas and repair bills. Another factor to consider when you are going car shopping is what qualities you are looking for. For example, new cars are more expensive and their value decreases faster, but they have better warranties and safety features. Once you figure out what your priorities are, it becomes easier to choose the kind of car you want.

Should I get a new or used car?

The most common question to ponder is whether you should settle for a used car or get a new one that could cost an arm and a leg. New cars are easier to negotiate for discounts, but for an older car, you need to be knowledgeable about the market for that car to be able to get a good deal. However, older cars are more affordable and tend to still have their extended warranties compared to a new car where its value depreciates as soon as you drive out of the dealership. Regardless of what you do, make sure to do your research and know what you are looking for in a vehicle.

Do I buy or lease a car?

It can be tempting to lease a car because they have lower monthly payments and you’re driving the newest model that is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. However, you might face restrictions with mileage, and you won’t be able to officially own a car. When thinking about whether you should buy or lease, take into consideration your driving habits and what you are using the car for. If you are planning on taking your family on road trips or you commute a good distance to work, you might be better off owning your car.

Car shopping does not have to be stressful or difficult. Consider how a car fits into your life and if it is a necessity. It usually takes a month to finally close the deal on a car so you will have time to think about it and be sure of your decision. If you give yourself enough time to do research and ask around, you will be more confident when the time comes to decide.