**Sponsored Post: All opinions expressed are honest and my own.**
Switching gears to mommy mode today on the blog. How many of you are thinking about purchasing a new car? Spoiler: Keep reading to find out what time of year is best to buy car! Car searching can be extremely stressful and overwhelming, parent or not! We’ve purchased a few vehicles over the years as our family has expanded from 2 to 4. I can confidently say we have finally mastered the art of the car buying process while saving a ton of stress & money as well! Here are my top 3 tips for a less stressed car buying experience.
Research, Research, Research!
This one goes without saying. Research as if your life (credit & bank account) depend on it! First, consider your costs. How much can you afford to pay monthly for gas, insurance and routine maintenance? Don’t forget to factor in emergencies such as blown tires, engine trouble, battery hiccups, etc. Listen, life happens and insurance companies won’t cover everything. Next, if you’re not paying for your car in full, consider getting a car loan from a credit union. The rates are usually significantly lower than commercial banks. You also have a higher chance of being approved for a car loan by a credit union with a lower credit score. Credit unions are more apt to listen to it’s member’s needs and unique circumstances than commercial banks.
Do you need something spacious or compact? Will you have more than one passenger in your car at times? Do you park in a driveway or street? Will you be making lengthy road trips? 4-6- or 8 cylinder? Do you work at a location that has private parking or do you have fight to park on a busy city street? There a million other scenarios to consider but we’d be here all day. Just keep in mind, the bigger the car, the bigger the bill (monthly note, gas, etc). Figure out what size vehicle will work best for you on a daily basis.
With a million platforms and ways to gain insight on your big purchase, it’s easy to become inundated and overwhelmed with information. What you don’t want is to become blinded by all the bells and whistles on a new “shiny toy” and end up with buyer’s remorse. One resource we highly recommend to avoid all of that is Cars.com. We were able to check inventory on both new and used cars, gas mileage, recalls and every other spec you can imagine from the comfort of our couch. You can cut through the fluff an get straight to business on their site. This saved us a TON of time going to & from dealerships! Cars.com also has deets on service centers nearby, reviews on cars & dealerships and much more. It’s literally a one stop shop for all your car buying, selling & servicing needs! Did you know last week was Car Seat Safety Week? Cars.com techs underwent 40 hours of training and participated in car seat check events sponsored by the police and Department of Transportation in Chicago. Read more about it here!
We have found that the best time to purchase a car is around Columbus Day. Most dealerships are trying to free their lots & floors to make room for the following year’s models. I’ve purchased vehicles on or around Columbus Day twice and have managed to get sticker value or less on each purchase.