View All Specials

Click Here for Featured Specials

Randall Reed Family Owned & Operated Since 1992

¡Tenemos agentes que hablan español! ¡Llama hoy!
New Ford Trucks

What to know before buying a new car

Posted at Thu, Dec 8, 2022 3:45 PM

Buying a car may seem intimidating, but it's pretty straightforward if you know what questions to ask and what factors to consider. You can do many things to make your car purchase easier before arriving at your local car dealer and while you're there.

Be Clear About Your Car Needs

Do you want a used or new car? Do you need a vehicle roomy enough to transport large groups of people, or do you want something small and efficient? Does electric make sense for you, or would you rather stick to gas-only? If you walk into a dealership with a clear idea of what you want, the buying process becomes much easier and more efficient.

Get Your Credit Report and Loan Pre-Approval

Before you get into the nitty gritty of discussing prices, you should know your credit score. If you plan on taking out a loan to help fund your car purchase, obtain pre-approval for a car loan, so you know how much money you will have available. This will give you a better sense of what car you can realistically afford on your budget and what kind of annual percentage rate (APR) you might qualify for based on your credit score.

If you qualify for a lower APR, it might make more sense to make a smaller down payment and pay off the rest of the car over a longer period of time. If your APR is higher, a larger down payment with fewer monthly payments makes more sense.

Ford Hood

Learn Which Safety Systems the Car Includes

When you go to the dealer and spot a car you like, always ask what safety systems are included in the basic package. Many consumers assume that systems such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) will be included as standard in newer cars, but that's not always the case.

Check with your dealer which safety systems the car comes with, then ask for a safety test drive. In addition, ask your car dealer what automatic safety systems the car may have that override the driver, such as alerts for cars in your blind spot and drifting out of your lane, how sensitive they are, and if there’s any way to turn off systems that conflict with your preferences.

The dealers at Planet Ford Dallas are always happy to answer any questions regarding safety, preferences, and the various settings on your car.

Consider Gas/Hybrid/Electric Vehicles in the Long Term

When you compare different options, it makes sense to be biased toward the car with a lower price. However, before you buy a vehicle, calculate the potential long-term cost of a hybrid or electric vehicle compared with a gas-only vehicle, especially during a time of high gas prices.

Many hybrids and electric vehicles now offer free charging for the first year or two of purchase, making them a more attractive option, even at a higher price. Before making your purchase, discuss the short- and long-term benefits of each with your car dealer and their practicality in the Dallas area.

Ask How Much Maintenance Will Cost

Speaking of unexpected long-term costs, it's always a good idea to ask your dealer what maintenance the vehicle requires and how often it requires service. Then ask whether any of the necessary maintenance for the vehicle is complimentary. Some cars have free initial tire rotations or oil changes, plus other perks.

Occasionally, vehicles with a cheaper upfront cost may cost much more in maintenance in the long term, especially if you plan to keep and use your vehicle for a long time. Your dealer at Planet Ford Dallas can help you make decisions with these factors in mind, thanks to their years of knowledge and experience regarding the cars they sell.

Find Out Whether the Car Has the Extras You Need

Perhaps your family loves to camp every other weekend. You may need to tow a boat or other heavy cargo due to your work or hobbies. Perhaps someone in the family loves having off-road adventures all over Texas.

Ask questions to make sure the car you're buying fits your work needs, the terrain you’ll be driving on, and your lifestyle. A rugged 4x4 vehicle may seem impressive, but if you're never going to use those heavy-duty capabilities, its drawbacks may outweigh its advantages. For example, vehicles like that tend to have a lower mileage and are heavier and harder to handle.

On the flip side, many vehicles that look about the same size may have vastly different towing capabilities, so if that's an important capability you’ll need from your vehicle, learn what each vehicle can tow or carry. Your salesperson can help you decide which car has the right balance of efficiency, performance, and capabilities that work best for you.

Ask About the Car's History

This is a step many people overlook with used cars, as they think the car's mileage and age should tell them most of what they need to know. However, these days, you can also get a pretty detailed history of any car before purchase, including any accidents it's been involved in, as well as its general maintenance history.

If a car you're about to buy has been involved in a major accident, it may have leftover issues from the initial damage. Likewise, frequent trips to the mechanic within a relatively brief period may be a red flag for a used car. In a practical sense, knowing what has recently been repaired or replaced in the car will also give you a better idea of what kind of maintenance the car will need down the road and when you’ll likely need to take it in for service.

Now you know what you need to do before buying a car, as well as the best questions to ask your local dealer, head into Planet Ford Dallas to inquire about one of our many new or used cars today. Do you have another suggestion for questions to ask your dealer before buying a car? Let us know, as we would love to include your ideas in future lists.

© 2024 Planet Ford Dallas Love Field | Privacy Policy