I am so excited to share our newest purchase with all of you…it’s a BRAND NEW 2011 Jeep Liberty!
My hubby and I have been looking at getting a new-to-us car for the past three weeks and after a TON of research, we decided that it actually made sense for us to purchase a new car over a used car. I just never thought I would have a new car at this time in my life!
Now, I know that might seem a bit counter-intuitive to buy a new car with the depreciate and all, but let me walk you through our process and show you how you can come out ahead at the dreaded car dealership.
- The first step is to know what you want. Before looking at any vehicles, we discussed what we were looking for in our next car. Since we now live in Colorado and like the outdoor lifestyle of our new home, we had a few specific requirements – an SUV with 4-wheel drive that will perform well in the snow and off-road. We also drive to Iowa a couple times a year to visit B’s family so it had to be comfortable for us as well.
- Set your price. Before you ever set foot on a car lot, you need to know what you are comfortable spending. Plug numbers into a loan calculator and see what your monthly fees will be. You need to do this simple step yourself so you are prepared before you are in front of a car salesman. They have a way of extending loan periods and adjusting rates so your monthly payment comes down. It’s always best to negotiate the total price of the car rather than the monthly payments.
- Research! The Internet is your friend and is full of information. Use sites like Kelly Blue Book, Nada Guides, and Edmund’s to check out pricing and reviews. As a side note, the reviews for Jeeps were not the best, but some of the reviews pointed out flaws that we could live with and actually expected from a Jeep. Buying a car’s really a personal decision.
- Test drive until you are happy. We looked at 6 different car dealerships and 4 different vehicles (Escape, X-Terra, FJ Cruiser, and Jeep Liberty) until we found the combination we wanted. Then we looked around until we found it. You also want to make sure that you like where you are purchasing your car. Some of the dealerships were very sleazy and in fact told us that the combo we wanted did not exist. Two days later, we found it less than 50 miles away. Glad we didn’t take their word for it.
- Dance the negotiation dance. Once you’ve found your car, you have to be willing to walk away. On the flip side, once you start negotiating, you have to be able to purchase the car right then as well. Negotiations only work if they’re serious. We loved the Jeep, but knew we had to keep our emotions out of the process.
- Be happy with your decision. After everything is said and done, you have to be happy with your purchase. Our goal was to feel like we got the best deal we could and we think we did. The salesman had to go back to his manager 4-5 times, but in the end they sold another car and we got one heck of a deal. Because we held our ground, it only cost us a couple thousand more than a used one!
So that’s it. Research until you find something you love, then stick to your guns when you’re at the negotiation table and you just might end up better than you thought.
Here’s a photo of me saying goodbye to our previous car. This was my first major purchase on my own so I was a little attached when it came time to let it go.