A vast array of car models with quirky features you never thought possible are coming out and sweeping people off their feet. You have your car, but you are starting to feel like it is out of date compared to the never before seen features-packed car models.

Admit it, the last thing you want is to make a car purchase mistake. Whether it be on the loan you apply for, the car quality, the price, or even to the details such as the car’s color.

Who knows? When you make a mistake, you might even end up not using your newly bought car at all. The wrong purchase can lead to a waste of time, money, and the onslaught of future problems.

1. Secure a loan preapproval before going to the dealership

Answering the first question posed after you think of buying a new car, “how much can I afford?” is one of the most pressing questions you need to ask yourself before you even step foot in a car dealership.

You do not want to be wooed by a dealer into purchasing the limited edition and expensive vehicles in their lot. Only to end up applying for a loan bigger than what you can actually pay for. You might even end up getting rejected.

Securing a preapproval will give you an insight into the status of your creditworthiness, what you can actually afford with what you have, and the best part, you can rely on better interest rates.

Your bank, credit union, or online lender will usually provide you with better rates in a preapproval. You can use the preapproval rates to bargain with the dealer for them to lay down a better deal that can top the one you got a preapproval for.

At times, dealerships jack up the interest rates. If you fall into signing these agreements with them, you will end up paying thousands more into interest payments. Having a preapproval in hand will give them the idea that you are aware of your creditworthiness and what it can afford you.

2. Know what a good deal is and what is not

Couple buying a new prpoperty

Car dealers are pros when it comes to making the best deal for their dealerships. They will bombard you with questions you think are necessary to answer in order to add up all the factors in their heads and provide a deal you think—and they think—is good to hear.

What you may not know is, they are working towards the welfare of their own dealership. In cases wherein you are planning to trade in your car on top of a purchase and you strike an excellent deal on a car you are looking at—they will try to either amp the interest up or pay you lower amounts when you trade your car in. Car dealing is a business, after all. They would want to make money out of it.

To stay on top of what your current vehicle is worth, as around your neighborhood’s car whiz, get offers from car trading websites, or go to other car dealerships and see if they will offer you different prices.

Do not worry about walking away on a deal that looks appetizing, there are always better deals out there. If you know how to look for them.

3. Consider buying a used car

Today’s used car market is filled with remarkably durable and reliable used car models. You can spot hundred-thousand mileage cars that can be used for another round of the same mileage with the right maintenance.

You can save a fraction of what you are planning to spend on a brand new one when you opt for a used vehicle. It is a fact that you should pick a car that is known for having low maintenance costs, has good reviews based on experience, and are rated well.

The last thing you would want to go through after buying a used vehicle is to spend a fortune on repair and maintenance. It can be frustrating because the amount can quickly add up to purchasing a brand-new car.

Another thing? You do not want to run into an accident with other people on the road and get into a brush up with a personal injury attorney suing you to pay for damages.

Knowing what you want along with your personal limitations will greatly help you in your hunt for a new four-wheel. It may be an exciting experience that can easily carry you into debt or a regretful purchase but one thing is for sure, finding out as much as you can about vehicles and pricing will help you get the best deals.