Buying a new vehicle is one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll make in your lifetime. So take the time, do the research and most importantly, ask the right questions. To help you out, here are some of the questions you need to ask before buying a new car.
1. How Much Am I Paying in Interest?
The amount of money you’ll be paying for your new vehicle can vary wildly depending on your interest rate and the length of your loan.
The average auto loan is 60 months, but it can range in length anywhere between 24 and 96 months. 4.99% interest sounds ok, but if you’re paying that for 72 months then it might make sense to take a shorter term (60 months) with a slightly higher interest rate (5.25%) because you’re going to end up paying in less in interest over the length of your finance contract.
Once your dealer/lender determines the length of the vehicle loan and the interest rate, you’ll be able to figure out how much you’ll be paying in interest overall.
For example, if you finance a $30,000 vehicle over 60 months at an interest rate of 7%, you’ll be paying $5,642.16 in total interest. Knowing how much interest you’ll be paying over the course of ownership can have a huge impact on your decision.
That being said, monthly payments are an important concern for many. Although a shorter loan may seem better at the time because you ultimately pay less in interest, the larger payments could be unmanageable over time. Choose both a length of time and a monthly payment that makes sense for you financially.
2. What Fees are Included in the Price of the Vehicle?
A lot of dealerships have mandatory fees built into the prices of their vehicles. Often they’re called Administration Fees or Documentation Frees (that can total as much as $1000). These costs are associated with running a car dealership. Not all dealerships have these fees, though.
For example, Go Auto has absolutely no hidden fees built into any of their vehicles. What you see is what you get, plus GST. When you do decide to buy a vehicle, make sure it’s at a dealership you can trust. And if there are hidden fees, understand what they are for and how much you’re being charged.
3. Where is the Nearest Dealer / Service Center to My House?
Say you find a vehicle you love online, but it’s five hours away. You drive all the way there and decided to buy it. Soon you realize, though, that there isn’t a dealership near your home that can service your new car. Now what?
Always make sure there is dealership near your home that you trust, and that can properly service your vehicle. This includes ordering the right parts and routine maintenance.
If you’re wondering where the nearest Go Auto dealership is, you can check out our locations here.
4. Can I Take It For an Extended Test Drive?
Did you know that there isn’t just one way of taking a test drive? It doesn’t have to be an awkward 15-minute experience with a salespeople jawing at you the whole time.
Many dealerships will allow for extended test drives. Sometimes these can simply be longer test drives you and your family can take without the salesperson. Some dealerships will actually let you take a vehicle overnight.
Always make sure you take the vehicle you’re interested in out for as thorough a test drive as you can before you buy. Then, make sure you give it a thorough visual inspection.
On your test drive, ask the following questions:
- Does it have all-wheel drive?
- Has it ever been repainted?
- Are there any signs of smoking or pets?
- Do all the windows and locks work?
- Do all of the lights, wipers, and stereo work?
- How many keys and remotes are included with the car?
- Does the cigarette lighter work?
- Are there any features that I think are missing?
5. How’s the Warranty?
When you’re buying a new vehicle, it will come a manufacturer’s warranty. This warranty is either a comprehensive warranty, powertrain coverage, or a combination of both.
A comprehensive warranty (also known as a bumper-to-bumper warranty) typically covers all the parts and systems of your vehicle for a pre-set amount of time or kilometers. A powertrain warranty refers to your engine, drive axles, transmission, or other major components of your vehicle’s operating system.
Previously owned vehicles are a little bit different. Some vehicles still fall under the manufacturer’s warranty, if they’re new enough (under 60,000 km, usually). Others, especially older vehicles, are no longer covered by the manufacturer. In these situations, the dealership you’re purchasing through may offer you an extended warranty.
One of the main reasons people avoid buying a used vehicle is the uncertainty that comes with it. If the vehicle has an issue and it’s no longer covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, you’ll be on the hook for those costs. Buying an extended warranty fills the gap between a manufacturers warranty and the period of time you’re left uncovered. It takes the uncertainty out of buying used.
6. Does This Vehicle Make Me Happy?
While the last few questions have been important to ask the salesperson, this is the most important question to ask!
Buying a new vehicle is a big decision. While buying the cheapest vehicle may seem like the most financially sensible choice at the time, you need to make sure that the vehicle you end up buying makes you happy.
Sometimes choosing a more expensive vehicle may not seem like a prudent decision. But with dealer incentives, guaranteed manufactures warranties and low financing rates, it can actually make more sense in the long run.
At the end of the day, you’ll be spending a lot of time behind the wheel. Make sure it’s in a vehicle you love.
Go Auto has the answers to these questions built right into our business model. We’re up front about pricing and we never include hidden fees.
You never have to be worried about finding a dealership you can trust in your neighborhood; we have more than 40 locations across Canada. Plus, your Go Card earns you 10% off all parts and services bills every time you service with us as a Go Auto customer.
We will encourage you to take our vehicles out for test drives. Even better? All of our previously owned vehicles come with a free Vehicle History Report and a 140-point inspection, both mechanical and visual, from a Factory Certified Technician.
Finally, Go Auto offers a Certified Warranty with every used vehicle made in the last 10 years, up to three months or 5,000 kilometers. And if the vehicle you buy doesn’t make you happy, you can exchange it for a vehicle of comparable value within the first 30 days.
To learn more, click here.