Industry Insider: 5 Mistakes People Make When Buying a New Vehicle

For most people, buying a new vehicle is a huge investment, and one they’ll have to deal with for years to come.

When it comes to buying a new vehicle, you often have two different approaches. You have those people who will spend hours and hours looking at performance numbers, oil consumption, and at all the maintenance issues there are with different vehicles. At the other end, you have those who will simply rely on the dealer’s advice or get information from someone they know without getting hands-on knowledge about vehicles. However, the more well informed you are, the less likely you are to commit a huge mistake at the dealership. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when buying a car.

Not Understanding the Value of their Current Vehicle

If you’re going to sell your vehicle independently or do an exchange with the dealership, then it’s important that you understand the true value of your vehicle and how they are valued. But you may be asking yourself, how much my car is worth exactly?

Well, going with the Kelley Blue Book price for your vehicle is a huge mistake since it doesn’t take all elements into consideration. While it can be used as a general guideline, the truth is that your local market will have just as much an influence on your car’s true value and what you can get for it.

So, you should be focusing more on gauging your market instead of going with the KBB value only. While going to the KBB site will give you an estimated value, private seller prices are actually a bit higher on average. Dealerships, on the other hand, might offer something closer to the KBB value. So, it all depends on what you’re looking for.

If you don’t want to have to deal with listing your vehicle and all the hassle that comes with the transfers and dealing with prospective clients, you can always go with the dealership. But know that you might be losing a few hundred or even thousands in the process.

Neglecting Test Drives

You can’t base your decision on which vehicle you’re going to buy just by looking at a few online reviews. The only way to tell if a vehicle is actually right for you is to test drive it. And when we say test drive it, we actually mean that. Drive it in as many settings, traffic, and road conditions you can during your drive. Also make sure that you test different paces and check if you notice any weird sounds, steering issues, issues with the brakes or any noticeable motor issues.

Not Considering Common Issues with Vehicles

Even the best car manufacturers struggle with some aspects, and certain vehicles or brands will be notorious for specific reasons. For a while, Volkswagen, for instance, was renowned for their many electrical issues. Issues like that can be a literal headache for owners since you can never really figure it out and there could be a different issue every month. And these can easily add up.

How reliable a particular model or car maker is will also have a huge influence on how easy it will be to resell the vehicle and how much you’ll be able to get for it. Reliability should be at the very top of your list when picking a vehicle.

And don’t assume that this doesn’t apply to you if you’re in the market for a luxury vehicle. Models like the Range Rover used to be known for being one of the most unreliable vehicles not too long ago and maintenance costs on luxury vehicles can add up over time. So, make sure you do your research on any model and see if there were changes made or recurring issues that still haven’t been addressed.

Only Being Concerned with Monthly Payments

Dealerships will never advertise the total cost of the loan. They much prefer showcasing things like interest rates or monthly payments. They know that showing seemingly low monthly payments is what will sweeten the deal for many buyers. However, you have to make sure that you know exactly how much you’ll be paying in total over the course of the loan. You have no idea which type of extra charges might’ve been added to your loan which won’t show on your monthly charges. You should always know how much the loan will cost in its entirety if you don’t want to be taken for a ride, no pun intended.

Not Taking Long-Term Costs Into Consideration

A lot of people will only think about the sticker price when looking for a vehicle, which is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. There are tons of other costs that need to be factored in, like insurance costs, gas, and maintenance, for instance.

This is why understanding gas mileage numbers is essential if this is a concern for you. A good car dealer should be able to give you a rough estimate of how much you can expect to pay for gas and insurance. But the only way you can truly tell if you’ll be able to afford a vehicle is to do your research.

You also have to take into consideration how much you’ll need to pay and how available car parts will be for the vehicle. Some manufacturers and car models are notorious for either having extremely expensive parts or parts that are difficult to find. This can be the case if you’re buying a model that was discontinued, an older one, or just one that is not particularly popular where you are. So, before you buy a vehicle, make sure that you can actually handle repairs and that you pick a vehicle that will be easily serviceable in your area.


If you want a great vehicle that will stay with you for the coming years without constantly worrying about maintenance or the vehicle losing value, make sure that you refrain from committing these few crucial mistakes. If you manage to follow our advice, you should be able to find the right vehicle for you in no time.