To help ensure driving and ownership satisfaction into the coming school year and beyond, follow these guidelines for getting the right car at the right price:
Do Your Research:
All the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision is available at KBB.com, including both expert and consumer reviews and ratings, Price Advisor information including Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price, side-by-side comparisons, safety and reliability ratings, and more.
Know What It Is Going to Cost You:
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few models that you are interested in, be sure to check out not only what it will cost you up front to buy the car, but also what it will cost you over time to own the vehicle. Use the KBB 5-Year Cost-to-Own information for new cars to help you determine both.
Test Drive At Least Two or Three Different Models:
It’s easy to enjoy a test drive in the vehicle at the top of your list, but without driving one or two others to compare, you might easily miss out on something you’d like even more.
If Buying New:
Always use a vehicle’s Fair Purchase Price, not Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), as your basis for comparing vehicles and negotiating with the dealer. Kelley Blue Book’s Fair Purchase Price reflects the prices people are typically paying a dealer for a new car, based on new-car transactions and adjusted regularly as market conditions change.
Kelley Blue Book’s Fair Purchase Price may be hundreds or even thousands of dollars less than MSRP.
If Buying Used:
Whether buying from a private party or a dealer, it’s always a good idea to have any used vehicle checked out by a reputable independent service shop.
When purchasing from an individual, check out the private-party value from KBB.com as well as Kelley Blue Book’s Condition Quiz, to help you determine the “actual” condition and value of the vehicle.
And always get a CarFax report to verify the vehicle’s maintenance and safety record.
Consider Certified Pre-Owned (CPO):
When you buy a CPO vehicle, you get the value of buying a used car with the peace of mind that comes from getting new-car-like features, such as a manufacturer-backed vehicle warranty, full vehicle inspection and more.
Learn more about buying CPO, compare manufacturer CPO programs in our article here on ecoXplorer.
Use the Internet to find the exact vehicles local dealers in your area currently have on their lots.
You can check out inventory in the KBB ‘Cars for Sale’ section to save the time and hassle of driving around from dealership to dealership. This way you can choose wisely which models you want to go test drive.
Don’t buy a car for your teen without driving it yourself, as your experience can help you identify problems or shortcomings that your teen may not notice.
Also, trust your own judgment and don’t let your teen talk you into buying a vehicle with which you’re not fully comfortable.
Do all of your homework before you meet with mom or dad; show them you are responsible and ready for a car, and make it easy for them to say “yes” to your well-researched choice.
And always drive safely.