12 Essential Questions to Ask When Buying a New Car

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Almost 2 million new cars were purchased in 2021 in Canada.

If you were not one of the people who purchased a car in 2021, you may be looking into car buying for this year. If that’s the case, you want to go into it with the right knowledge and the right questions for a car dealer.

If you don’t, you may find yourself in a sticky situation.

Keep reading to learn about some of the top questions you should ask when buying a new car!

Top questions you should ask when buying a new car

1. Do You Have the Car I Want in Stock?

One of the first questions you should ask when you are buying a new car is if the car is in stock.

Sometimes, the exact car, make, and model may not be in stock. There are also frequent delays in the manufacturing, so if you want a specific car, it may take longer than you were hoping to get it.

If you can wait for the exact car that you want, this answer shouldn’t matter as much, but if you need the exact car and need it now, then you may need to go elsewhere or do research to find another car. Or perhaps you can ask the dealership what the closest alternatives to that car are that they have in stock.

2. Can I Take the Car for a Test Drive?

It is always risky to buy a car without test driving it.

When you get behind the wheel, a lot can change. You may have loved the idea of the car or the look of the car, but when it comes to the actual feel of driving it, you may change your mind.

For instance, you may not enjoy how low you feel to the ground when driving or how high up you feel, the braking may be too hard or too easy, or you may find it difficult to steer.

Knowing what driving the car is like is important in the car buying process.

3. What Warranty Does the Car Have?

If you need to know anything about the car buying process, knowing to make sure the car has certain warranties is vital to saving you money down the road.

A warranty is there to ensure you that if something happens, you are covered without having to spend much money, if any at all, out of pocket.

New factory warranties should have standard bumper-to-bumper coverage for three years from the vehicle’s production date or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, sometimes you can extend this and get an extended warranty or powertrain warranty up to 60,000 miles. If there is an option to upgrade, always choose the upgrade.

4. Are There Any Rebates or Incentives?

When you buy a car, there are many times when there are manufacturer rebates or incentives.

For instance, some manufacturers may offer incentives at certain times of the year. If so, it may be best to come back during that time to get the best deal and save hundreds to thousands of dollars.

5. What Is the “Out-of-Door” Price?

An out-of-door price is the actual price of the car – the price, the fees, the taxes, and anything else all in one.

Having this written out and given to you on a piece of paper is important so that you know the exact price of the vehicle before making a purchase. This list should also be itemized so you can see where all of the costs are coming from.

6. What Is the Lowest Offer You Are Willing to Take?

When buying a car, it is not as cut and dry as going into a store and buying a shirt that has a price tag. Cars are negotiable, and you should negotiate to get the best deal possible.

Why spend more than you have to?

To negotiate properly, be firm in what you want to pay. Try not to waiver, and make it known why you are offering your specific numbers.

7. What, if Any, Are the Additional Fees?

Car purchases typically come with a few hidden fees that are not included in the price of the car. Sometimes, this is not listed out on a printout of the final sales price either.

Be sure to ask what the hidden fees are as one of your questions when buying a car. There are often documentation fees you will have to pay simply to buy the car.

8. Can I See the Buyer’s Order?

A buyer’s order is much more than just a sales contract. This is a document that you don’t want to lose and should keep in a safe place.

The buyer’s contract will have information like the make, model, and color of your purchased car on it. It will also have any additional options and warranties, along with any fees included in the purchase.

This could include taxes, documentation fees, and any other dealership fees that are included in the purchase of the car.

Before making the purchase, make sure that all of the information on this piece of paper is correct and in order.

9. What Are Your Interest Rates?

While you should go into the car buying process with a pre-approved car loan interest rate from somewhere else like your bank, you should always ask the dealership if they can beat that rate.

If they can, then it is best to go with the lower rate to save you money.

You can get car financing here.

Depending on the car you are looking to buy, there are most likely going to be different loan options for you. This changes due to the type of car, SUV, or truck and how expensive it is.

If you’re looking into trucks, you’ll need a specific loan for a truck.

10. Are There Any After Sale’s Services That You Offer?

If you are looking to have a few services to the car after purchase, you can ask the dealership if they do some of those services like tinted windows or maintenance services when you need any maintenance done.

It can be helpful to buy from a dealership that offers services after the purchase since they know more about the vehicle’s history than other repair or service shops.

However, it is not a must – just something to consider when purchasing a car.

11. What Are Common Repairs for This Make and Model of the Car?

When buying a car, you are bound to run into some issues down the road. However, it can be helpful to know what you are getting into by asking what the common repairs are.

Most salespeople know about common problems with each make and model of cars, so asking them will give you more insight.

For instance, a salesperson may tell you that the brakes are a common issue that needs to be fixed yearly with a specific model. If that’s the case, you will need to consider the cost and benefits of making this purchase or going with another car.

Or, on a brighter note, the salesperson may tell you that there have not been any concerns in the past few years with this specific car. Good news! You can move forward with your purchase with no worries on that front.

12. Is All of the Maintenance Complete?

Before driving off the lot, you should have the dealership look at the car one last time to ensure all maintenance is complete. This would include an oil change, making sure all fluids are topped off like the coolant and window wiper fluid.

They should also be able to give you a list of things done to the car, so you have it for future reference, especially if there are any issues down the road. You can bring this into the mechanic to refer back to.

Questions to Ask When Buying a New Car

Buying a new car is not a simple decision. You have to think about a lot of things, from what you are willing to spend and what your auto financing situation is going to look like to the type of car you want based on any safety ratings, the comfort and longevity of the car, and other important aspects.

But when it comes time to make the purchase, you can use these questions to help guide you through the car buying process. With this knowledge, you’ll be less likely to make a car buying mistake!

But before you get out there to buy a car, make sure to apply for a car loan now!

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