Americans simply love cars, whether to commute, race, or just show off or reflect personal taste, and buying a car can be a personal milestone and be liberating as well as a status symbol. But it is not all fun and games; a car is a massive financial investment, and can ruin a person’s credit score or savings if handled sloppily, knowing exactly how and when to buy a new or used car, or lease one, is critical for any buyer, whether an eager teenager or an older adult looking for a new way to get around. Dealerships can be found in every town or city, and they will have a wide variety of sedans, SUVs, trucks, and more of all price ranges, colors, performance, and features for any customer. Dealerships are also well-known sites for negotiating with car dealers and haggling over prices and interest rates, so a customer should know how to handle that, too.

Buying Cars

Every year, Americans buy and lease many cars and trucks. In fact, it has been determined that between private party and dealership sales, some 40 million used cars will change hands every single year, and new vehicles sell well, too. In 2017, for example, over $1 trillion was spent on new cars, and dealers will also write repair orders if need be to keep these cars running. In 2017, dealerships across the nation wrote just over 316 million repair orders in total, and in total in 2017, franchised dealers sold 17.14 million new vehicles, from two door sedans to large pickup trucks. Dealerships are always ready to make a sale. How can a customer find the right car?

Buying and Leasing Cars

A buyer does not have to buy an expensive, new car right away, especially if they cannot easily afford it. But for those who can, they will enjoy the perks of a new car, ranging from modern aesthetics and brand names all the way to the inclusion of a warranty and modern safety and performance standards from the engine to the axles to the air bags. Financing is a common route to take for any new or used car, and can make most vehicles affordable. Having a good credit score and good negotiation skills with the dealer can help a customer get a better price on the car and a lower interest rate on it, and customers can also learn about some of the sales tricks that car sales professionals employ and work around them if able. A customer looking for a commute vehicle will probably only need a smaller, two door sedan, and someone driving a family may need a four door sedan or a minivan instead, and owners of RVs or boats may instead look for a pickup truck or a powerful SUV to satisfy their needs. Some car dealers may have only sedans or only trucks, however.

Leasing a vehicle is another option at dealerships for customers who do not need a car for decades on end, or customers who do not do enough driving to justify buying their own vehicle. The lease will be based on the vehicle’s current value versus its original value, and better deals are found when a car is close to its original value. Some brands are known for being good at this. The customer will also have to keep in mind fees for driving the car off the lot.

When someone is planning to shop for a new car or a used car, or even just a lease, he or she should keep their needs in mind, such as towing an RV, traveling on city roads, or even going off-road. Carrying needs, such as for sports or other equipment like a drumset, can also factor into the decision. Someone lugging around a large drumset or two guitar amps will not like a tiny, two door sedan, but an SUV can be useful. The customer can look up nearby dealerships and can arrange a visit not to buy, but simply to scout out what kinds of cars are available, making mental notes first of broad categories, then finer details like color and the exact model and make according to preference.

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