Before You Buy a New Car Questions


1. (How Many Miles Should a New Car Have)?

Many new car shoppers are surprised when they see mileage on a vehicle that has never been owned or used before. Yet when you shop around for a new vehicle, you’ll find that every new car has at least a few miles on it.

Why? Because every new car undergoes some preliminary testing to make sure it’s fully operational before getting placed on the lot for sale. In addition, dealership test-drives all add mileage onto the odometer, which can add up quickly as potential buyers take the vehicle for a spin.

So what is the ideal amount of mileage for a new vehicle? Typically, the mileage on a new vehicle should be less than 200 miles. The lower, the better, but you can trust that any mileage on the new vehicle was only accumulated as part of the same test-driving that every vehicle undergoes.

2. Can You Afford the Monthly Payment?

As you start your car search, you should figure out your budget by determining how much you can afford in a monthly car payment—or, if you’re buying in cash, how much you can spend out-of-pocket on a new vehicle.

If you decide you have a $200 budget, for example, you will need to consider vehicles and loan repayment terms that can fit into that allotted monthly amount. Higher-priced vehicles may need to be financed with longer repayment terms of 72 months or more to lower your monthly payment to an affordable amount.

When financing, you should also remember that other costs may be included in your financing amount, including taxes and/or registration fees. Make sure you plan for those when considering the full cost of a vehicle.

3. Have You Asked the Dealer About Any Financing Promotions?

One of the most important (financial questions to ask when buying a car) is whether the dealership offers special financing deals for new vehicles.

Special financing is a common practice at car dealerships and certain auto lenders, and these deals could save you money on your monthly payment. These financing deals may include low promotional interest rates or even zero-percent interest on your loan for a promotional period. You may also be eligible for cash-back offers, among other deals.

These promotions are less likely for used vehicles, but it’s still worth asking about as you research your options.

4. Is There an Accident Report Available for Used Cars?

One of the first (things to check on a used car) is the accident and owner history, if available. Reports such as those from CarFax and other providers can collect publicly available information to let you know whether you’re buying a one-owner, accident-free vehicle or a multiple-owner vehicle that has been through multiple accidents.

Other (questions to ask when buying a used car) may be related to the history and use of the vehicle. For example, did prior owners smoke in the vehicle? Was it used as a rental car at any point in its history? Has the vehicle undergone any significant repair work? Why did the previous owner decide to sell the vehicle?

The more information you’re able to gather about this used vehicle’s history, the better informed you will be to make the right buying decision for your next vehicle.

5. Can the Seller Thrown in Any Free Accessories or a Service Plan?

Every car buyer should be educated on the (perks to ask for when buying a new car). As you negotiate on the price of a new vehicle, don’t be afraid to ask for additional perks as the seller tries to close the deal. These perks can range from free mud flaps and floor covers to credits for free oil changes, or even a discounted or free service maintenance plan at the dealership. You might be surprised what the seller is willing to offer up to motivate a sale.

Now that you know (what to ask when buying a new or used car), you’re ready to hit the dealership pavement in search of your next vehicle. Just make sure to ask a lot of questions, and practice patience on your hunt until you find the perfect vehicle, and at the right price.