Buying your first luxury car is a lot like a first date. You’re anxious, but you’re also feeling adventurous. Part of you might want to dive in and get it over with, while another part of you is hesitant. This is understandable. Buying a car is a huge financial decision. So, to mitigate the stress and help prepare you for this commitment, you’ll need to consider a few things before buying your first luxury car.
Draft a Budget
The first aspect of luxury cars you might notice is that the level of luxuriousness has no limit. Purchasing a luxury car could mean spending $30,000 or $200,000. It all depends on your budget. Determining this beforehand will give you a range of vehicles and brands to choose from. It will also help later in the process when you speak with a car salesman and have to barter down the price.
Set Your Priorities
Once you know how much you want to spend, the next step is prioritizing where that money goes. Which of the following features is most important to you?
- Performance – Horsepower, acceleration, and smoothness of the drive are all aspects of how well a car performs. For some, the allure of a luxury car comes from pressing down on the accelerator and ramping up from 0 to 60mph in 2.8 seconds.
- Safety features – Every year, companies raise the bar for safety standards and compete for who makes the safest vehicle. Luxury cars often flaunt the latest equipment from side airbags, automatic braking, and lane departure warning systems.
- Tech, Bluetooth, and hands-free gadgets – Luxury cars often come with touch screen menus, hands-free options, back up cameras, and other fun gadgets. If you’re someone who hates parallel parking, look for a car that does it for you!
- Extra legroom and lush seating – Who doesn’t love plush seating and extra legroom? When it comes to luxury cars, having that high-end atmosphere and comfort in a vehicle is key.
- Brand – Each brand has a unique style. Mercedes, Audi, BMW, and others all compete in the luxury vehicle space. Knowing beforehand which brand you prefer will help narrow down the search.
Explore Financing Options
Getting pre-approved for a car loan by a credit union or bank is a great way to finance your first car. The benefits of going through a bank versus a dealership include lower interest rates and more flexible financial plans. Be sure to check your credit score beforehand so you know your current standings.
Check Your Local Dealerships
By using local dealerships as a resource, you can avoid paying high premiums for shipping and handling fees. Plus, you can test drive the car before you purchase. Whatever brand you’re looking for, a quick online search can find a dealership near you. Buying locally is typically cheaper but spreading your search to neighbouring cities can help expand your selection. If you live in Seattle, for example, you could search for a Spokane Audi dealership, or one that sells whatever brand of car you’re looking to buy. If you know the exact model you want, then you can call, make sure it’s there, and take down a bit of information on the price and deals offered.
Learn How to Negotiate
Dealing with car salespeople can be stressful. They are trained professionals who know how to read customers and milk their wallets. However, by comparing prices online and learning how to bargain, you can potentially save thousands of dollars. A few basics include:
- Initially offering less than your intended price
- Allowing them time to counteroffer
- Demonstrating that you’ve researched the car’s proper price
- Dressing well and speaking confidently
Consider Buying Used
Just because you’re paying more for a luxury car doesn’t mean that you have to buy it new from the dealer. Used luxury cars offer that same high-quality feel at a cheaper price.
By buying used, you also avoid the steep value deterioration of new cars once they’re driven off the lot. Within five years, a brand-new car is assumed to have lost two-thirds of its initial value. Purchasing a used car that’s a few years old could mean avoiding a negative asset.
Besides, there are other ways to get that same new car smell.
You’re Ready to Buy!
Once you’re financially prepared and you’ve found the right car, the final step is to make the purchase. That means test driving, choosing your colour, and of course, planning your first road trip. Happy car hunting!