In a perfect world, you’ll have all the time you need to shop for your ideal car. You’ll have months to do research, to shop around, and to find the perfect vehicle. In many cases, though, that’s not an option. Whether you’ve recently been in an accident and need to replace a totaled vehicle or you need a car that can fit your growing family, you may need to get a new car in a rush. If that’s your goal, consider the advice below.
Look at Cars in Your Area
Always start by narrowing down your search to cars that are actually for sale in your area. If you’re in a hurry, you likely don’t have time to travel to another city or state to pick up the car you want. If you’re looking for a Chevy, do a quick inventory search of Chevrolet cars for sale at the dealership you’re considering. This will help you quickly figure out if the kinds of cars you want to look at are actually on the lot or if you’ll have to go somewhere else to see them. The last thing you need is to show up to shop only to find that the cars you like aren’t actually for sale.
Next up is getting pre-approved for your loan. This will help you to set your budget, and it will also reduce the amount of time that you need to spend in the dealership. You can usually get pre-approved for a car loan within a few hours, so go ahead and apply so that you can be ready by the time you go down to the dealership.
Prioritize Features, Not Brands
If you’re in a hurry, you need to avoid being picky. While there is definitely something to be said for sticking to a manufacturer you trust, don’t get too hung up on the name of the car. Instead, have a list of features that are important to you and only look at those cars that have all or most of those features. If you can combine your feature list with your budget, you should only have to look at a few cars.
Finally, be prepared to go in and pay a price that you think is fair. You should already be approved for your loan, so you know what you can and cannot afford. Tell the dealer what you’re willing to pay and let them make a decision. Don’t stick around for them to ‘get approval’ or to come back with a counter-offer; if the dealer can’t meet your terms, it’s time for you to move on to another dealer that can work with your budget. Waiting around for negotiations won’t help you find the right car quickly.
Buying a car in a hurry is largely a matter of knowing what you want and what you can afford. Double-check that the car you want is on the lot, show up with a loan approval in hand, and be prepared to walk away from a bad offer quickly. If you can stick by your decisions, you’ll be amazed by how quickly you can get out of the dealership.