What Are 5 Questions You Should Ask The Dealer Before You Buy A Car?

As a car blogger who has purchased numerous vehicles over the years, I know firsthand the importance of asking the right questions before making a purchase. Buying a brand new car can be a significant investment, and it’s crucial to make an informed decision. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the top questions you should ask your dealer before finalizing your purchase.

Understanding the MSRP

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is the price that the automaker recommends that the dealer sell the car for. However, this price is not set in stone, and dealers may offer discounts or negotiate the price with buyers. It’s important to understand the MSRP before negotiating with the dealer, as this will give you a baseline for the cost of the vehicle.

When asking about the MSRP, don’t be afraid to ask if there are any current promotions or discounts available. Sometimes, automakers offer incentives to dealers to sell certain models or offer cash rebates to buyers. It’s also important to note that the MSRP does not include taxes, title, and registration fees.

Factoring in additional costs

In addition to the MSRP, there are other costs that you may need to factor in when purchasing a car. These costs can vary depending on where you live and the type of vehicle you’re buying. Some additional costs to consider include:

  • Sales tax
  • Destination charges
  • Documentation fees
  • Extended warranties
  • Gap insurance
  • Service contracts

It’s important to ask the dealer about these costs upfront so that you can budget accordingly. Some of these costs may be negotiable, so it’s worth asking if there’s any room for negotiation.

Inquiring about warranties

When purchasing a new car, it’s essential to inquire about the warranty. Most automakers offer a bumper-to-bumper warranty that covers repairs and maintenance for a specific period. It’s important to understand what’s covered under the warranty and how long the coverage lasts.

Additionally, some automakers offer extended warranties, which can provide additional coverage beyond the standard warranty. Extended warranties can be a good investment if you plan to keep the car for an extended period.

Key point: Don’t assume that all warranties are created equal. It’s important to read the fine print and ask questions to ensure that you understand exactly what’s covered under the warranty.

Checking the vehicle’s safety rating

One of the most important considerations when purchasing a new car is safety. It’s important to know how the vehicle performs in crash tests and what safety features are included. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conduct crash tests and provide safety ratings for vehicles.

When inquiring about the safety rating, make sure to ask about specific features such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). These features can significantly impact a car’s safety rating and may be worth investing in.

Asking about mileage

The mileage of a vehicle can provide insight into its overall condition and potential longevity. It’s essential to ask the dealer about the mileage of the vehicle you’re interested in purchasing. Additionally, you may want to inquire about the vehicle’s service history to determine if it has been well-maintained.

Key point: Keep in mind that high mileage does not necessarily mean that a car is in poor condition. Many factors can impact a car’s lifespan, including how well it has been maintained and how it has been driven.

Considering certified pre-owned options

If you’re open to purchasing a used car, a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle may be a good option. CPO vehicles are typically newer models that have been inspected and certified by the automaker. These vehicles often come with additional warranties and benefits, such as roadside assistance and free maintenance.

When inquiring about CPO options, make sure to ask about the inspection process and what additional warranties or benefits are included.

Inquiring about aftermarket parts

If you’re interested in customizing your vehicle with aftermarket parts, it’s essential to inquire about these options upfront. Some dealers may offer aftermarket parts or accessories, while others may not. It’s also important to note that aftermarket parts may void the vehicle’s warranty, so it’s crucial to understand the potential risks before making any modifications.

Other important considerations before making a purchase

In addition to the above questions, there are other important considerations to keep in mind before making a purchase. These include:

  • Researching the dealership’s reputation
  • Taking a test drive
  • Reading reviews and ratings of the vehicle
  • Comparing prices with other dealerships
  • Understanding financing and payment options

Buying a new car can be an exciting experience, but it’s crucial to approach the purchase with a level head and do your research. By asking the right questions, understanding additional costs, and considering all of your options, you can make an informed decision that you’ll be happy with for years to come.

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