Avoid the common pitfalls car buyers make too often

If you're in the market for a new car, beware of these five common mistakes.

1. Shopping for the car before knowing what you can afford

Find out how much you can afford before looking for a car. If you jump straight to the car search, you might end up making unnecessary sacrifices, or you might be wasting time looking at cars that don’t fit with your budget. Financing is an option for both new and used cars, although the rates may differ. We can arrange a pre-approval before you start your shopping to give you the peace of mind and confidence to start negotiations.

2. Not negotiating on price

If you are buying a used car, the asking price is often just a starting point for negotiations. If you don't bother to negotiate, you could potentially pay thousands more than you need to. Inspect and test drive the car before you begin negotiations, and make it clear what you are offering, pointing out any issues you might have noticed. If negotiating over price isn't for you, you may prefer to use a vehicle sourcing service. They can negotiate for you across a range of local dealers.

3. Not test driving the car

Too many car buyers have already made up their mind before they get behind the wheel during a test drive. It's important to keep your mind open as you're test driving the vehicle so you're alert to anything that seems odd. Pay attention to how it feels and sounds over smooth and bumpy roads, at fast and slow speeds. Try the dashboard functions to see how they work and assess whether the car is comfortable and ergonomic for you, other drivers and passengers.

4. Not doing research

The internet is a good place to begin your car buying process. Once you've worked out your budget and your needs, start comparing models and finding out what the various car features mean. Different manufacturers sometimes use slightly different terms to refer to the same thing. Make note of any advertised prices, especially on runout deals.

5. Buying 'more car' than you need

If you simply need an A to B car for urban commutes, an oversized 4WD may not be needed. Choose a car that ticks the right boxes for you, and don’t wind up paying for something you don’t need. If you’re not sure about your decision, that’s okay. You can always go back the next day.

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Additional information

Car finance and sourcing services are provided by Macquarie Leasing Pty Ltd ABN 38 002 674 982 Australian Credit Licence No. 394925 (Macquarie Leasing). All applications are subject to the satisfaction of approval criteria. Terms, conditions, fees and charges apply.

Any information or advice contained on this website is general in nature, is not an expression of opinion or recommendation, and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information or advice on this website, you should consider the appropriateness of it (and any relevant product) having regard to your circumstances and, if a current offer document is available, read the offer document before acquiring products named on this website. You should also seek independent financial, accounting and tax advice prior to acquiring a financial product.

^Macquarie Vehicle Select is a registered business name of Macquarie Leasing Pty Limited. Macquarie Vehicle Select have no influence on Macquarie Leasing's lending decisions and vehicle sourcing is independent of any application for credit.