A Girl’s Guide to Buying a Car

Ladies, I hate to admit it, but most women lack the automotive knowledge needed to buy a safe and sound car nowadays. While there are a few brave and savvy few out there, most of us just want a car that is reliable and looks good! Now I’m in no way sexist and I really do believe in female empowerment, but there are some things our boyfriends, husbands and brothers are really useful for. Here are a few tips I’ve learned, yes the hard way, that I’m passing on to you.

Tip # 1 – If you have a male in the family, bring him car shopping.
I’m really starting to believe salesmen love to see a woman walk into the showroom or onto the car lot looking lost. I know it has probably happened to more than a few of us we were overcharged on a late model car that wasn’t even that great! Now if my Dad were there that day, he would have told that salesman where to go and how to get there. My point is ladies, males will give us a confident edge walking onto the car lot. They usually know more about cars and don’t mind haggling with the creepy comb over guy.

Tip # 2 – If you must go alone, make sure you’re armed and ready for action.
No, put down that rifle catalog and listen to what I am saying. Would you go to any Joe Blow hairdresser? Would you let him or her cut your hair without knowing what you wanted or how you usually style your hair? Absolutely unheard of I know, so this is my second point; know what you’re shopping for and research it before you shop. If you’re looking for a city car, that is good on gas mileage and easy to park, let your salesman know. If you want an SUV to go camping in or an SUV for frequent loading and unloading, speak up. This will also eliminate Mr. Creepy Comb-Over from selling you a car you really have no use for. Write down what you really use your car for on a day-to-day basis and go from there.

Tip # 3 – Does your car have baggage?
Sure, that sporty new Mustang may look great and fast and sexyâÂ?¦âÂ?¦.*sigh*, but why is it a brand new model for $10,000 dollars less than every other Mustang you’ve seen. Chances are it’s been in a major accident or there is something detrimentally wrong with it. CHECK IT OUT! Demand a car report or ask the salesman straight out, why is it so cheap. You should really run a report on any car you’re buying anyways to see how many accidents its been in. This can be simply done by getting the VIN #, this is like a car’s social security number, it will tell its entire history. Just like people, once you’ve been hurt in an accident things never operate quite the same way again. Try www.carfax.com

Tip # 4 – Ask to see your car’s resume.
Every car should have a maintenance log. This means oil changes, tune-ups, brake pad changes, transmission cleanings, belts and chain replacements to name a FEW; yesâÂ?¦ all of these need to be done, usually every six months to a year. A well maintained car will give you years of a feeling your money was well spent. If you’ve had a “lemon of a car”, check out the maintenance log, chances are it wasn’t taken care of.
(Sidenote: Men usually have a sixth sense about when the car needs these kinds of repairs done. I know I know, they can’t remember Valentine’s Day, but they know when Betsy needs new tiresâÂ?¦interesting!)

Tip # 5 – Get in touch with Grandma.
Ask her if any friends are trying to sell their cars! Aside from accidents, elderly driven cars are just the kind of car you want to have. Think about it; older people tend to drive less and when they do drive, they are extra careful from years of wisdom and know-how, they also may only use that particular car as a “vacation car”. I’m not saying every car Granny drives will be sterling, but I’ve seen more than a few that have gone the extra mile due to the tender loving care an older driver gives their car.

I hope that these tips were helpful and did not offend anyone, my bottom line is this; be informed, know what you want and never settle for less. You will be stuck with your car for more than likely a few years to come, you deserve something dependable and safe!

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