Buying a car is both super duper exciting and super duper scary!! Now if you don’t find the car buying process even just a little bit scary then this post is not for you. I don’t know about you but I always get intimidated and overwhelmed during the process and so therefore car buying is a “scary” thing for me. Ugh.
So having done this a time or two, both on my own and with the help of my step-mom, today I thought I would share with you some tips on buying a car as a single lady!! Here we go…
…now I realize that the title of this post is buying a car as a single lady but these tips can really be used by anyone. So first of all let’s talk about my car buying experiences.
When I graduated from college (the first time) I got my very first “big girl job” that I actually still have to this day. I was driving the same car I had while in college, a super cute Pontiac Sunfire. As a treat to myself (and because my super cute Pontiac Sunfire was literally falling apart) I bought my first car! I bought a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe. Now since this was my first car to buy on my own and I didn’t have any credit I had my uber awesome step-mom co-sign with me so I could get a better interest rate. Now my whole part of this car buying experience consisted of test driving the car and then sitting in it until it was time to sign on the dotted line. I had no idea what went on during the whole “deal making” part and I just drove away a happy girl. I had no idea what the total of the car I was buying was or what my interest rate was. I was pitiful ya’ll. I blame it on being young.
A couple years later I bought my home and decided I needed to downgrade my car. I needed a car with better gas milage and that would fit in my garage…HA! So I traded my Tahoe for a brand new Hyundai Sonata. My car buying experience was similar to that of the Tahoe. I test drove it, loved it and then sat in the lobby while the salesman did all the work and told me to sign. My step-mom was my co-signer again and she trusted that I got a great deal because she wasn’t there to haggle with the sales guys. Truth be told I had no idea how much I paid for that car or how much they gave me for my Tahoe. That is just sad y’all.
Next up was my Nissan Rogue. A few years after driving a car I decided I needed a SUV which is smart for a single lady. Now this time I actually insisted on staying in the room while the haggling went on but I had no idea what the sales guy was talking about and just went with whatever he said. I actually wound up getting a and deal on that car and I had no idea. My step-mom still had to co-sign with me and after that whole deal went down I decided I would be more proactive if I ever bought another car.
A couple years later I decided I was done with my Rogue and started looking for a new car. I settled on a GMC Terrain and went with Everett GMC in Bryant AR. Now Everett is a huge GMC dealer but you would never know that by walking in because the people are so down to earth and friendly!! I got an amazing sales guy who walked me through every step of the car buying experience and helped me get a great interest rate and I was even able to buy the car on my own without my step-mom as a co-signer. Now I still had no idea what I paid for the car and what my trade was or what my interest rate was but I was ok with that. I was just so happy to finally have a great car buying experience.
And rounding out my car buying experience is last month when I went back to Everett GMC and trading my 2014 GMC Terrain for a 2017 GMC Terrain. Yep, I traded one car for the exact same one only with zero miles and not almost 80,000. HA! I loved my experience with Everett GMC the first time that I went back again and used the exact same sales guy, Navy Davey! Again, he walked me through the whole experience and this time I walked away knowing exactly what they were giving me for my old car, exactly how much I paid for my new car, what my interest rate was and which bank loaned me the money. It was truly a great experience and I know that if I am ever in need of another car again I will go to Everett.
Now let’s get to my car buying tips!
ONE. Know what your car is worth before you go to a dealership. Just check out Kelly Blue Book online and enter your car’s info. It will walk you through your current car feature by feature and you will have a pretty good idea of what your current car is worth before you get to the dealership.
TWO. Know your credit score. There are lots of free websites that will tell you what your credit score is so you know what your’e wiring with before you get to the dealership.
THREE. Know how much money you owe on your current car (if you still do). This will affect how much you can borrow on your new car if you are having to carry over debt from your current car.
FOUR. Research the kind of car you want before you go to the dealership so you know about how much it costs and what features you want.
FIVE. Know your budget and stick to it. I always tell the sales guy what kind of payment I am comfortable with and what number I won’t go over. Stay firm on your price.
SIX. Test drive a lot of cars before buying! You never know how a car handles until you get behind the wheel so it’s good to test drive a few before you buy one.
SEVEN. When it comes time to do the paperwork stay in the know! Ask if you can see the negotiations and be a part of it.
EIGHT. Don’t feel obligated to purchase a car even after all the haggling is done if you don’t feel comfortable about it. You can always say no and walk away at any time before you sign any paperwork.
NINE. You can walk away at any time. Sure, it may be awkward but it’s better than getting yourself into a car you can’t afford.
TEN. Enjoy it. When all is said and done I hope you ENJOY your new car!!!
If you are in central Arkansas, or anywhere really, check out Everett GMC for all your car buying needs. Tell them Ricci sent you and ask for Navy Davey!! (This is not a sponsored post, I am just really happy about my car buying experience!!!)
And don’t forget to get a present for your car. Or in my case, a new key chain! I have seen these fun leopard tassel keychains on Pinterest and have wanted one for a while now so the night I brought home my new car I ordered it from Etsy!!
Happy Car Buying!!