Common Mistakes Drivers Make When Buying a Car

Buying a car is similar to buying a house, as it is a big decision, a major milestone, and an expensive purchase. In addition to that, it is also fun and exciting. However, it is also easy to get caught up in all the excitement and end up regretting your choices. Keep in mind that purchasing a car is a huge commitment. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are getting the best deal for your money.

When you purchase a car, there are many things that you need to do and consider. For example, when you choose to buy a pre-owned car, you need to do some inspections and learn about its history, which can be done easily through a license plate lookup. The same goes with purchasing a new car, as you need to make lots of decisions. With this, many commit mistakes that can and should be avoided.

If you are looking into purchasing a car soon and you need tips, we’re here to guide you. In this article, we are giving you a list of the common mistakes drivers make when buying a car that you should avoid.

Not researching vehicles and prices

One of the major car buying mistakes that most drivers commit is rushing. Keep in mind that you have many different cars to choose from. This means that it is not a good idea to just buy the first one that you see. It is essential to take the time to find out the type of vehicle that will match you, then learn about the cars that belong to that category.

For instance, pickup trucks are very popular. However, the question is, is it the best type of vehicle for you? Ask yourself important questions such as what type of car you need. Do you need a compact SUV? Or do you want a smaller one? When you answer those questions, you can then dive deeper by looking at models and trims.

It is also important that you research their reliability and gas mileage. Try to find out information about equipment and depreciation and look for reports of newer models that are going to be released soon. It is better that you find out what is available and what you need rather than be enticed by a dealer’s advertising. You can start shopping when you can explain the type of car you need, why you want it, and if it is right for you.

Focusing on a specific model or dealership

woman negotiating about a car

Many cars today cost at least $10,000. Therefore, when making this kind of purchase, you should not focus on a single model and ignore the other options. It’s because you may find other vehicles that could be better for your needs and budget. You can try to go online and compare ratings, reviews, pricing, reliability, and safety of different cars. Also, when you shop around at different dealerships, it conveys that you have your options open. You can also check out ABETTERBID, which is an online car auction marketplace with various types of vehicles on offer.

Not doing a test drive

When buying a car, never assume that what looks good on paper is the same in real life. It is not enough that you see the car in a brochure before you buy it. It is important that you feel how the car drives for yourself and ensure that there are no hidden surprises. Try to drive the car that you want for at least 30 minutes. You also need to inspect it inside and out. Some people skip the test drive, particularly when they are shopping long-distance. However, it is worth the effort to visit the store than to discuss issues later on.

Purchasing unnecessary extras

It is common for salespeople to upsell customers on extras that are not needed. These may include paint and fabric protection, rust-proofing, and more. It is better to decline all of these add-ons. When you are buying a brand-new car, rust is not a serious concern as most newer car models today are coated to prevent corrosion. You can also use cheaper products to treat the paint and fabric yourself.

Picking aesthetics over function

A lot of car buyers prefer to purchase a car that looks good without finding out how efficient it will be or if it is what they really need. This does not mean you have to settle for an ugly car. What we are pointing out is that you need to consider your needs when buying a car. Some of the factors to consider include fuel efficiency, high safety rating, and if it can accommodate your family. Considering first all the aspects of the car, such as safety, specifications, features, technology, engine, ride, and handling, is very important. Do not just focus on how it looks as how it works is more important.

Focusing only on monthly payments

woman showing information about the car

For dealers, it is easy to lower the monthly payment, as they only need to extend the term of the loan or lease. But that will cost you more due to the additional interest charges. Another way is to increase the amount of down payment. This way, your monthly cost will decrease, but you will still pay more overall.

The important thing is the price of the vehicle. Car salesmen are trained to steer customers away from talking about that. But no matter how hard he tries to switch your attention from it, you need to go back to the price and argue it down. You should only think about the payment terms once you settle on a price.

Depending on the dealer when it comes to financing

Keep in mind that the dealer is not doing you any favors when he organizes the financing. It’s because he gets paid for doing it. This means that he makes a profit on the car you will buy and will try to make more profit on the loan that he will arrange. There can also be times when the dealer will not get you the lowest interest rate you are eligible for.

Therefore, the best way to avoid this is to shop around for auto financing before you buy a car. Having a pre-approved auto loan will even the playing field with the finance department of the dealer. This will also give you something to fall back on in case they aren’t able to get you approved at a lower interest percentage than you already have. Try to see what rate you can get so that when the dealership’s finance and insurance starts talking terms, you will know if they are really offering a good deal.


These are some of the common mistakes drivers make when buying a car. Before you make a purchase, you need to ensure that you are doing it right. By avoiding the mistakes we’ve mentioned in this post, you can make sure that you are getting the most out of your money and that you will be able to have the perfect vehicle that will cater to your needs.