Do's and Don'ts of Car Buying

The Do's and Don'ts of Car Buying

First, breathe. That’s a big question! Buying a new car is both exciting and overwhelming, so before you rush to find the perfect one, consider asking yourself a few questions first. It’s a big investment when you purchase a vehicle. And here at Cooper Motor Company, we want that investment to pay off for you. Financing is a huge part of buying a new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or RAM, or really any new vehicle, so decide on these major factors before visiting our dealership. While we can help you decide what you like in person or over the phone, consider these do’s and don’ts of buying a new car:

1. Do Know Your Needs

It’s a good idea to figure out what you need from the vehicle you plan on buying. Perhaps your commute is long, so you’d rather have a vehicle with excellent gas mileage. A hybrid or compact car would scale the miles with the fuel efficiency you crave. Do you want speed and sleek style? A sports car or convertible are your best choices. Or what about a roomy cabin with plenty of cargo space for a growing family? A crossover or minivan can handle the kiddos while giving you the extra space for your belongings. Whatever model you decide meets the demands of your lifestyle, stick to it when car shopping.

2. Do Research

Next up is researching the type of car you choose, but don’t worry — this is the fun part. Browse different brands using the manufacturers’ websites. If you’ve chosen a crossover as your favorite type, only look at crossovers. Make a list of features that are must-haves, like a particular brand of a sound system or rear USB ports. Compare the makes and models (either with our comparison pages or with the manufacturers’ comparison tool) and look up awards and safety ratings from credible organizations.

3. Do Know How Much You Can Afford

Ah, you knew this was coming. The financial side of a new car can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be if you’ve created a budget to ground you beforehand. Our finance center at Cooper Motor Company has helped numerous customers with their financing, so we’ve come across some general rules that we think are great guidelines to follow. We suggest placing 20 percent down, limiting your loan term to no more than 60 months and maintaining your monthly payments below 10 percent of your monthly income. While these numbers will change based on your credit score and history, don’t forget to include annual maintenance costs and insurance in your configuration.

4. Don't Trade In A Car That's Worth Less Than You Owe On It

So we’ve listed three things that you should do — here are two to avoid. Don’t trade in a car that’s worth less than the amount still owed on it, or in simpler terms, a car with negative equity. Debt will follow you into your next loan, which means you could be still paying off the loan from a car you no longer have, along with the payments from your new car. That’s the debt of two cars to worry about at the same time. To avoid this financial burden, value your trade ahead of time and only sell your vehicle when it’s paid off.

5. Don't Rush Your Test-Drive

Research was the fun part, but test driving is the best part of car buying! Take your time and enjoy the ride. Test everything from the radio to the cruise control, the air conditioning to the trunk release. Take your list of must-have features and start checking it off. And remember, we’re just as excited about your new car as you are, so ask us all your questions.

Do's and Don'ts of Car Buying

Interested in purchasing or leasing a new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or RAM? Come visit us at Cooper Motor Company at 305 E Main St., Clinton, SC 29325. We look forward to serving our customers from Clinton, SC, and throughout Laurens, Newberry, Greenwood and Fountain Inn.

Do's and Don'ts of Car BuyingDo's and Don'ts of Car Buying