As a family of five (plus two small dogs), our car is pretty important. In fact, it is vital to the function of our family. We drive carpool every day. All three kids are Scouts. They are also at three different schools, in various activities and want to meet up with friends or attend the occasional birthday party so we spend a lot of time in the car. We travel constantly from activity to activity and what we drive needs to serve many purposes.
Our car has to be able to handle a road trip as easily as a car full of cheerleaders who all need to charge devices. It needs to have navigation and a backup camera. There are just features that I want to have and there are some that would be nice to have knowing the difference makes it much easier to shop.
Currently we have a Ford Flex and a Jeep Wrangler in our family. However, we have a kid who is just months away from getting his learner's permit and so car shopping is top of mind in our family. For now the plan is to let our son drive the Jeep so I can look for a vehicle. I am really loving the brand Kia so I added them to the list to check out along with Ford and Jeep. I was pretty open to mid size SUV's and really just wanted to see how each car handles.
Before buying a car and or heading to the dealership (as I would have done in the past; more on that below), there are a few things that I do to make get myself organized. Here are our 5 Ways to Make Car Buying Easier which was written as part of our partnership with CarMax.
5 Ways to Make the Car Buying Process Easier
1. Choose the right car.
Did you know that 23.4% of people think they bought the wrong car? I have been there and that is the absolute worst. I had to drive a car that I absolutely loathed for three years. It was not a good experience so choosing the right means taking your time and making certain that your car fits your lifestyle.
2. Do your research.
When I first decide to look for a car, I narrow it down to 3-4 cars that I would like to test drive and seriously consider. There are many things that I take into consideration and this post 12 Smart Tips for Buying the Right Used Car is a great place to start.
3. Set a realistic budget.
Did you know that 1 in 4 respondents (25.5%) say the worst decision they have made when buying a car was having paid too much for a new car that depreciated? This is why research is important when it comes to buying a new car just as much as setting a realistic budget.
4. Get your trade-in ready.
This is one thing that my dad always had us do when we were ready to trade in a car. We would thoroughly wash the car on the inside and out. This includes vacuuming, waxing, shampooing carpets, cleaning leather seats, changing the oil and more. We wanted the car to be in absolute perfect condition because my father believes that the better the car looks, the less work the dealer will have to do and the more money you should be able to get in trade. I completely agree and have always done this since being on my own. Check out our Spiffy mobile car cleaning review where they came to clean our car right in our own driveway.
5. Shop at CarMax.
CarMax has made shopping for a car so much easier and less stressful. There is no longer the negotiations or back & forth because when you shop at CarMax, the price you see is the price you pay. In addition As the nation's largest retailer of used cars, CarMax offers over 180 locations across the nation. They offer:
No haggle pricing
Stress free, flexible financing
No obligation shipping from store to store (see a car across the country at another CarMax? They will ship it for you)
Fast, free appraisal of your car in as fast as 30 minutes
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Stacie Connerty lives in Atlanta, Georgia with three teenagers. She has an insatiable love of travel, food and style & fashion. Stacie also loves all things tech, beauty, DIY, home decor, fitness, pet entertaining, and family.
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I like the idea of shopping at CarMax. It looks simple, no pressure and it doesn’t look like there’s any interaction with pushy car salesmen.
I have always wondered about Carmax but never knew much about it. This sounds like a good option for car shopping now!
Buying a car can be so stressful since you are so afraid that you are going to be taken advantage of. These are some great tips for a stress free experience!
Doing your research is important. That’s what we did before we decided to buy our car. And we set a budget too. We sure don’t want to end up broke. 🙂
Doing your research is super important. I always prep ahead so that I know what I am talking about when I go car shopping.
This is really great, I am glad that Carmax can make car buying so much easier. I have seen their commercials a lot, will have to see if there’s one near me!
When we are ready to look for a new car I know where to go first. Carmax sounds like a great place to go car shopping. I like how complete the service is.
Cool tips! We always do our research before we get a car. Brand new is always the best option, however, if budget would be considered for a teenager’s first car, we would go for a second hand car that has only a few miles on it and we’d make sure we get it from a trusted car dealer.
My hubby is in charge of this LOL! His favorite part is the research! My favorite part is getting the dealer to come down in price! I do like Carmax they are straight forward!
Seriously. CarMax just makes it easier to buy a car without all the drama and back and forth. It’s great deals and no pressure.
I’ve had difficulty making car decisions in the past! I do like that CarMax takes some of the stress away from buying a car.
These are such great tips!! It is so important to do your research and know everything you need to before buying a car. It’s such a large purchase and you really want to make sure you know what’s what, and what you’re doing! Great tips!
I think these are all great tips. It’s so important to do research when buying anything really. Glad you were able to share such good tips. I’m sure these can help out many when buying cars.
we will be doing car buying soon. Thank you for these tips. There is a carmax about an hour or so away and I have heard really great things.
Great ways on making buying a car easier! CarMax is really the way to go. It’ll make getting the car you want a lot easier.
Buying a car can definitely be so nerve wracking. This definitely seems to be how to make it easier!
Car shopping is so stressful! I usually tell my husband what I want in a car and then have him go hunt down the perfect one for me lol. These are great tips to help make the purchase run a lot smoother!
Oh this is so great! I had no idea car buying could be so easy!
We just had our second baby, and we need a new car desperately. I know I have definitely been looking at cars way out of my budget. I need to come back to reality ha ha. I will have to check out CarMax! What a great resource for buying a new car!
Such great tips for purchasing a new vehicle (or new to you). I think Carmax is definitely a great idea and when the time comes I will look into CarMax before I go looking anywhere else. Thank you for all of the information.
I so need to check out Car Max! This sounds amazing and we are in the market for a new car!
I would love to give Carmax a try. I am looking to get a new car this spring. Carmax looks like it makes it easier to find a great car.
Carmax makes car buying so much less stressful. I love that you don’t have to haggle over prices.
I bought a car for the first time two years ago and it was such a pain. I learned a lot. But I also hope I don’t have to buy another car for awhile.
Carmax is popular in our area. Good selections
A realistic budget is an amazing tips. It really is important to know how much you want to spend before going in so you don’t go over your head.
It’s almost time to get a new car for our family. That means it’s time to start researching. One thing I won’t need to analyze is where to buy it. CarMax it is!
These are really great tips! Will keep this in mind for next time we buy our car,
We never walk onto a car lot without doing a little planning first. But these are great reminders for making sure you make the right decision for your family.
Research and budget are very important when I sold cars this was two of the most important things that could make or break my sell.
Anyone who can help make that whole car buying process easier has a nod in my book. The last time I went, my son took me back (he’s grown) and demanded a MUCH better deal than I’d gotten. I ended up with the best deal I’ve ever had…I’m taking him next time too. 😉
CarMax sounds like a great place to buy a car. I like that they will ship from a different store at no extra cost.
These are all great tips for buying a car. Shopping for a new car can be so stressful at times.
Carmax is definitely the way to go when buying a used car. They have affordable prices and they give you a fair deal on your trade-in car. I’m talking from past experience. 🙂
Car buying is the worst!!! Thank you for these ideas!
These are great tips to making purchasing a car a lot less daunting! I am going to have to pass these on.
The car buying process is so complex and stressful! We need to get a car for my daughter, will definitely check out Car Max.
That’s really awesome. It’s important that we do our research first before getting a car, it’s a huge investment after all. Great tips for people planning to buy a car!