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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!!
robin masshole mommy says
Yeah, you really do have to do your research before you walk into the dealership. It makes the whole process so much easier.
Alli Smith says
I have to admit that I’m kinda like you were the first time around when it comes to buying cars. My husband does all the haggling while I sit in my new car taking in that new-car smell. This is such a helpful guide for all women!
Christy Maurer says
It’s rough making a decision! We looked at tons of cars before getting my daughter one. I was widowed at that point so it was up to me to decide! I did take it to my mechanic and he gave me the go ahead. I didn’t want to make a bad choice! Love the keychain!!
Jaime Nicole says
Really great tips! I am buying a car soon – the last car I bought was in 2009 and my current vehicle has over 200,000 miles on it. I hate having a car payment so I’m making it last as long as its feasible to fix it!
Hopefully I will make it to the “no car payment” stage one day! LOL!
Shirley Wood says
OMG! When I was a single Mom, I purchased a new car and the process was so intimidating. I did walk away from one dealership and am still proud of myself for that. I hung in there until I found the right car and the right deal for me. Your tips are really great. Congrats on your new ride :-)
Walking away is HARD!!! You go girl!!
Amanda Farris says
You are hilarious! I love your lifestyle blog. Great keychain and fun process! Ricci- you are awesome! Hopefully, a new car will be on my horizon. We are rockin’ the 04 mini van! lol
Thank you girl! I love your blog as well!! And you rock that minivan mama!!!
Always makes me mad to go into a car dealership and not be taken seriously by anyone just because I am a woman. Do your homework ahead of time and don’t let them talk down or try to intimidate you.
It is so i portent to test drive your car beforehand you buy it. It may not handle the way you think it does.
Jacqui S says
Yes, yes, yes. Do your research. I bought my first brand new car on my own and was able to talk them down into the car payment I needed lol. It was a hassle, but I won. I knew what my car was worth and my credit score. Also, don’t let them talk you into a higher down payment. Only do what you can afford.
Dawn McAlexander says
The last time we bought a car, my husband handled all the negotiations. I think he was a little better than me at it because the time before that, I let them talk me into a car we really didn’t want.
Ali Rost says
It’s been forever since I bought a new(ish) car. I knew exactly what I wanted .. something Toyota with a manual transmission. There was only one used on the lot and they gave me a great deal because there wen’t many people who wanted to dive a stick. Fun to remember back!
Annemarie LeBlanc says
These are all good tips, but the one I like best is to know when to say “no” and turn away. A good knowledge of your credit score is always a good thing. No one wants to be up to their neck in debt. Congratulations on your purchase and hope you have fun times and reach may destinations in it.
Rebecca Swenor says
These are great tips on buying a car as a single lady. It is so important not to get intimated and to remember it is your choice what you want, need, and can afford. Congrats on your new car and I love that key. Thanks for sharing these great tips.
I am loving that leopard lassel keychain so cute. I have bought all of my cars as a single woman so your tips are on the money to get the best deal and vehicle.
Ana John says
Its really important for a single lady to have car of her own so that there is no need to depend on any other means. Well you had a nice choice. I would keep in mind once I’ll be able to afford my own car someday.
This last time we bought a new car, we did a lot of the work and haggling online. It was so nice! I new exactly what kind of deal they’d offer me (we financed with our bank but did consider their own) and I went in, signed the paperwork and went home with a car that night. I didn’t have to stay around in the car dealer for more than an hour. Our credit union also has this thing where they will bring cars to you to test drive and they will work with the car dealer to finish the whole car buying process.
Go you though because girl, to me, nothing worse than having to buy a car! LOL!!!
Angelic Sinova says
These are great tips! Knowing what your car is worth before you go to a dealership is a MUST! Whenever my mom bought a new car when I was younger, she always make sure to know the blue book value beforehand.
Kita Bryant says
Boy, I’ve bought a car single before. They sure do try to take women for fools don’t they? Walking away was the best tip of all. It’s so true.
I wouldn’t even KNOW where to begin, if I was shopping for a car on my own. My husband has always taken care of it. Good for you! And so glad you’ve had a great experience these last couple of times!
Beauty With Lily
Paula Bendfeldt says
These are all fantastic tips. I have to buy a car in the next couple of months and car buying is an intimidating process for me too. Being prepared will help me feel more confident. Thanks!
Kristina | The Feminine Files says
I have never purchased a car by myself but I can imagine id be scared! These are some stellar tips you gave! Congrats on your latest purchase and I love that key chain!
Wildish Jess says
My parents bought my first car for dirt cheap then I bought all of the rest on my own. Loved it!