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Buying a car can be a stressful experience for anyone. But even as financial expert Dave Ramsey shows, it doesn’t have to be. The advice Ramsey gives will shock you with its simplicity, but may just lead you to have the best car buying experience possible.

Dave Ramsey thinks car buying really comes down to the work you put in

Auto industry expert Dave Ramsey gathered a list of car buying tips to help car shoppers find the best vehicle, at the possible price. When observing Ramsey’s list of 10 car buying tips, it’s easy to see a common theme.

Ramsey’s tips indicate that a bit of work on your end is one of the best ways to end up on the positive side of car buying. Buying a car is a huge financial decision and it makes sense that doing adequate research could help solidify that choice as a good one, or a bad one.

According to Ramsey, the first step in car buying “is deciding what you can afford to pay for a car.” This budget should include what you can pay upfront, what you’re willing to pay monthly, and how long you’re willing to pay for the car.

Once you’ve set a realistic budget, it shouldn’t waver. Ramsey also points out how vital it is to “narrow down your choices” that fit your budget, by both price and needs. Decide what are negotiable and non-negotiable factors, and try to narrow down your choices.

If you find a car you like, “it’s time to do some research.” Performing your own research ensures you’re paying a fair price, gives you access to vehicle history, and also provides insight into the quality/reliability of the car. You should also consider gathering insurance quotes on potential choices, factoring this into your budget as well.

Making smart decisions in car buying

If you’ve done proper research and you’ve found a car you like, a large chunk of the car buying process is already over. But you’ll still need to make smart decisions to ensure the experience has a desirable ending.

It is vital to take any potential cars on a test drive, taking it on multiple routes “to experience different types of driving.” Be sure to check any and all features of the car, to ensure you’re getting what you pay for. And don’t pay for anything you don’t want or need.

According to experts spoken to by NPR, it’s important to avoid all add-ons offered, including protection plans, extended warranties, etc. Ramsey also recommends getting the car inspected by a trusted mechanic professional. 

When it comes time to purchase the car you like, it’s important to remember that there’s always time to negotiate. Your due diligence in research and strict budget gives you the upper hand to strike a good deal. If the deal you want is not possible, you have to be willing to walk away from it.

Dave Ramsey’s best advice you can heed when buying a car

Arguably the best piece of advice Ramsey gives is a bonus tip, but something that shouldn’t be forgotten. Ramsey states that “the key to happiness is not a new car, so don’t pay for it like it is!”

A car is designed to simply get you where you need to go, and as tempting as it is to get a car you cannot afford, you don’t want your new car to be more of “a burden than a blessing.”

Even psychologist Barry Schwartz believes that “the abundance of choice we have in an affluent society wrecks havoc on our happiness,” and as shown in an article by Money Under 30, “we stress out about getting the perfect car at the perfect price.”

It’s important to set realistic expectations, but also be assured that you’ve gotten the best car at the best price, by making smart car-buying decisions.


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