How to Take the Stress Out of Buying a New Car

Buying a car is a big purchase, even if the vehicle itself is fairly inexpensive. This is one of the largest purchases that most people will make and they do not want to make the wrong choice or feel pressured into purchasing a specific vehicle. Buying a new car should be fun and exciting, not stressful! If you are feeling stress or anxiety about this purchase, there are ways that you can soothe these fears and prepare yourself to make sure you are making the right decision.

1. Shop at a dealership you trust. When you buy from us or our Burlington or Turnersville dealerships, you know you are working with salesmen and with dealerships that you can rely on. We are proud of the vehicles that we sell and we are excited to help you find the vehicle that fits your needs. When you trust the people you are buying from, it will be much easier to find a car that you are ultimately happy with. There is nothing worse than driving your car home and wondering whether or not you made the right decision. We will help you make sure that you did!

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2. Do research before visiting dealerships. If part of your stress stems from the fact that there are so many different choices, even within the same brand, you can save yourself a little bit of stress by doing research before you actually start visiting dealerships. This might enable you to not only eliminate certain models, but entire makes. If you go online and look at a certain brand’s lineup and discover that they don’t have any vehicles that you are interested in test driving, you can cross that dealership off of your list and move on to the brands that are offering you vehicles you want to look at in person.

buying a car3. Look for dealerships offering incentives or deals. The monthly car payment might not actually be that worrisome for you, but that doesn’t mean that looking for a dealership that is offering a deal, discount, or incentive isn’t a bad idea. Some brands will actually offer you discounts if you already own a vehicle from that same brand. Others might be running specials where they offer extra money on a trade in vehicle. Many dealerships have specialized offers on certain models. Take a little bit of extra time to see if the brands that you are interested in buying from are offering one of these specials.

4. Decide on your budget before you get to the dealership. If you want to avoid even looking at cars that you know you can’t afford, decide before you get to the dealership what the very ceiling of your budget is going to be and then do not budge. If you are not sure how much the vehicles you are looking at are going to cost you from month to month, it is worth your time to use the payment calculators that every single brand has to get a good idea of what you are likely to pay, were you to buy that car. Make sure, if you have a tight budget, that you take car insurance and the cost of gas and repairs into consideration when deciding how much you want to pay.

5. Pick the right time to shop. There’s no “best time of the year” to buy a car. Every brand runs sales almost year-round and each individual dealership will over different incentives at different times. You probably will end up paying about the same for a car no matter what time of year you decide to buy. That said, if you want a less stressful buying experience, it is worth your time to pick the right day of the week to shop. If you can shop during the week, when most people are going to be at work, there will be fewer people on the lot and less competition for the attention of the salespeople.

6. Look for loans before you go. Most dealerships offer their own financing for their buyers, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t shop around to see what sorts of loans and rates are available. Unless you are able to pay cash for a vehicle, you should spend at least a little bit of time familiarizing yourself with the loans that local lenders offer, as it is likely with one of these lenders that your dealership is going to work in order to finance that car for you. If you know what rates are considered fair, you’ll be much more prepared to negotiate when it comes time to buy.

7. Contact the dealership before visiting. If you know exactly what vehicles you want to test drive, it might be worth your time to call or email the dealership before you show up, asking if they have those models in the colors and with the features you need, so that they have them prepared for you. You’ll also establish a personal connection with the dealership, so when you show up, they already know who you are and you will probably already have a salesperson available and ready to help you find the perfect car.

8. Know when to walk away. If you are not one hundred percent ready to buy a car, the experience is going to be stressful, no matter what you do. If you really are not ready, be ready to walk away and take a few days to think about the purchase and which vehicle really is going to be the best for you and your lifestyle.

9 Tips for Driving with Kids in the Car

One of the biggest distractions on the road is not your cellphone or trying to tune your radio, but the children in your car. Whether they are screaming their heads off about nothing in particular or are distraught because one is poking the other, kids in your car can be a big distraction, especially if you are the only adult in the car. Here nine tips to help you make driving with kids in the car a little bit easier:

1. If you need to discipline a child, pull over first. You do not want to be trying to pull two children apart or discipline a child while also trying to focus on the road and pilot a car. If you have kids in the car and you need to talk to them or do something in the backseat to keep them call, pull off to the side of the road before doing anything. Especially if your child is demanding immediate attention, do not try to argue or reason with them while driving. They do not understand what is required of a person while they are driving and will not understand why they cannot talk to you or get your full attention right now.

2. Keep your eyes on the road. One of the worst things you can do while driving is to try to keep one eye in your rearview mirror and keep the other eye on the road in front of you. While driving, actually driving should be your primary focus. You might feel likely you need to repeatedly check on your child in the backseat, but the best thing you can be doing to keep them safe is to keep your eyes on the road and pay attention to the most demanding thing on your plate: driving forward.

family car3. Tell your child to wait. If they are trying to demand your attention right now, while you are trying to drive, it is time for you tell them to wait. While they might not understand how demanding driving is, they should understand what you mean when you say that you need them to wait until you have gotten where you are going before you can pay attention to what they are saying or what they are doing. This might incur a tantrum. You might just have to listen to the tantrum while you finish your drive. They might actually tire themselves out by the time you get to your destination and they will be much more pleasant to be around.

4. Distract them with something. A vehicle that has a built in DVD player and a headphone jack is a great opportunity to distract your children while driving. If they are too engrossed in their favorite television show, you will not have to worry about them fighting with one another or throwing a fit while trying to get your attention. If you can find something to distract them, even just a tablet or a book or a toy, you will have a much more pleasant driving experience.

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5. Bring lots of toys. If you can pile their favorite toys in the seat next to them, they will probably be distracted for long enough for you to get to your destination. Especially if you have more than one child and they like to play with certain toys together, now is the ideal time to make sure that they are have plenty of things to distract themselves with. When they are not paying attention to your or what is going on beyond the window, you will probably have a much more pleasant driving experience.

6. Set some rules. If your child is old enough, it is worth your time to sit that child down and to talk about some rules of the road. This will keep both of you safer. When they understand that you cannot pay attention to them while you are driving, they are less likely to expect that you are going to. Setting ground rules before getting into the car for the first time and reminding them of the rules at each subsequent trip will make driving better for all involved.

7. Don’t talk on the phone and drive. This is important for every driver, but especially for drivers with kids in the car. The cellphone is a major distraction, even if the car is coming through your car’s infotainment system. Your primary goal right now should be to get your child to the destination safely. Talking on the phone, even if you are not holding that phone up to your ear only adds another distraction, making driving even more dangerous.

8. Use mirrors. If you need to check on your child, do it by looking in your rearview mirrors. If you have put your child in a rear-facing seat, you might want to put a mirror on the headrest of the seat that they are strapped into, so you can monitor them without having to turn around in your seat and look at them. Even during the calmest drives, on the calmest days, turning in your seat to look into the back of your car is extremely dangerous.

9. Keep a car kit just for your kids. This might be a collection of snacks that they can eat if they are starting to get hungry a fussy, along with an emergency toy and some water or juice. These are simply things to keep your kid happy when they are on the verge of a tantrum.

 

For more great tips or to look at some of the best vehicles for families, come visit our Kia dealership, at any of our three locations!

7 Things You Don’t Want in a New Car

When looking for a new car, there are lots of things that you do want. For example, you should be looking for a vehicle that has great safety features and gas mileage. You already likely have a long list of things that you are looking for in a vehicle. But do you have a list of things that you absolutely do not want in a new car? Here are some of the things you should be aware of:

1. Too much room ­– You can’t have too much room in a vehicle, can you? The truth is that, especially if you are used to driving a sedan, a huge SUV might not be the ideal choice for you. If you do not actually need that much room for any reason, there is no reason to by a gigantic car. Keep in mind that the bigger the vehicle is, the lower the gas mileage is going to be and ultimately, the more expensive that vehicle is going to be to maintain. Make sure that you consider your lifestyle and what you need in a vehicle before you buy the biggest one on the lot.

2. Not enough safety features – Today, the average vehicle comes with plenty of safety features, ranging from seat belts to air bags. Again, it is important to consider your lifestyle when buying a car. If you never plan of having anyone in the backseat of your vehicle while you are driving, you might not care about side curtain air bags. If you have little kids sitting back there, however, you should be very concerned with what safety features are included on the trim level you are purchasing. Don’t skimp on safety features just because it saves you money.

thinking to buy a car3. Manual transmission – Many of us grew up driving manual vehicles. Today, you might be able to find manual transmissions as an added feature on otherwise automatic vehicles, but it is likely very difficult to find a vehicle that strictly has a manual transmission. There is nothing wrong with manual, but it is unlikely that this is a feature that you are going to be specifically looking for in a new car, simply because automatic transmissions are easier to drive and have been streamlined to be more efficient than your average manual transmission vehicle.

4. Cut corners – When you get into a vehicle, you do not want to feel like the interior of that vehicle is cheaply designed or cheaply made. Most people spend hours a week in their vehicle. Those who have an hour long commute on either end of the workday might spend as much time in their car as they do awake at home. This means that you should only buy a vehicle that feels very high quality. When you look at your vehicle, from the outside or the inside, you should not feel like any corners were cut during the design and construction process. If you do, it’s time to look at a different model or a different brand.

 

5. A bad warranty – When buying a new car, you should be just as concerned about your warranty as you are about the power and design of the vehicles you are looking at. A bad warranty, one that only covers certain parts of the car or only for two years, should send you running for the hills. Cars break down. They start to develop problems. This is not something that you should have to pay for in the early years of owning your vehicle. Only buy from a brand like Kia that offers the very best warranties on the very best vehicles. We can afford to offer better warranties on our vehicles, because we know that our vehicles are going to last longer than vehicles from other brands.

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6. A high price – Obviously, you do not want to pay more than you have to for a vehicle. There are some brands that overprice their cars or that offer a very cheap car with a basic trim level that actually does not even provide you with power windows. This can make it very difficult to take these brands seriously and to want to purchase a car from them. You’ll see that their models start at just over $15,000, but you cannot find a vehicle on their lot that you would purchase that is less than $20,000. This can be some serious sticker shock, but you might still feel obligated to purchase, just because you have been on their lot for so long. Luckily, there are still brands, like Kia, that offer vehicles at low prices, that come with the standard features that you actually need, including advanced safety features and power windows.

7. Weedy driving – The biggest thing you should avoid when buying a new car? Buying a car that is not actually fun to drive. If you buy a vehicle that puts along the road, you are going to dread your commute. While you might still dread a long commute even when you have a vehicle that is fun to drive, you will, at least, enjoy driving a vehicle that you love. Don’t buy a car that you do not look forward to driving. It should be powerful, with enough pep to get you where you need to go, without making you feel like you are not in control.

 

Avoid these seven things when you are buying a car and you are sure to purchase a vehicle that you absolutely love!

The 8 Biggest Car Buying Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

right or wrongA car is likely one of the larger purchases you are going to make in your lifetime. As with any large purchase, the fear of making the wrong choice or getting a bad deal can make it impossible to actually make a purchase, even if you know essentially what you want to buy and where you want to buy it from. Here are eight of the biggest car buying mistakes and how you can avoid making them as you start looking for your car, whether it is the first car you’ve purchased or the tenth:

1. Buying from a dealership that you do not trust – Many people still have the mental image of a slimy cars salesperson when they step onto a lot. They are afraid that they are going to be bullied into buying a car, even if it is not the vehicle they want, or they are going to be forced to pay more than they wanted to pay. You can eliminate this problem by buying from a dealership that you trust and that you know will help you find a car that works for you, not just find a car that they can unload on you.

2. Not test driving the car enough – The salesperson you are working with will likely recommend that you take any car you are thinking seriously about for a test drive. Don’t just drive the car around the block and then bring it back to the dealership. You need to see how it behaves on a wide variety of different road conditions, including the highway. You might like how it drives on the surface streets, but hate how it drives at speeds over fifty miles an hour. Try to take it on a route that you might often be driving (or one similar), to see how it will act under your normal driving circumstances.

 

3. Guessing what your trade in is worth – The car that you are trading in likely has some sentimental value. Because it is likely at least a few years since you purchased that car, you might not have a good idea of what the trade in is actually worth anymore. Even if you bought that vehicle for $20,000, it is not going to be worth anywhere near that amount of money. The only people who can really tell you what that vehicle is worth is a car dealership, that has an expert who can evaluate your car based on its mileage and condition.

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4. You make a panicked decision in order to get a special deal – The last thing you want to do is to jump into a car purchase without carefully thinking about whether or not the car you are buying is the vehicle that you actually want. The salesperson might be offering you a one-time deal, and you think that you have to make the decision right then or you will not be able to buy the car. If your mind is not fully made up, if you are not completely sure that this is the car you want to buy, do not buy it until you have to make the decision!

5. Not talking to your insurance agent – When you buy a car, you are going to need to add it to your insurance policy (or purchase auto insurance for the first time, if you are buying for the first time). Don’t neglect making a call to your insurance agent. If you are concerned about what you will have to pay for certain types of vehicles (some vehicles are more expensive to insure than others), or you want to make sure that you have the right kinds of insurance, including gap insurance, make the call before you make the purchase.

6. Putting too much emphasis on the monthly payment – If you are only looking at how much you will be paying on a monthly basis and not at how much you are paying over the life of your vehicle, you are missing the bigger picture. You want to know how much you are going to have to pay in total, not just from month to month. While lower monthly payments might look good at first, this usually also means that you will be paying a higher interest rate, over a longer length of time, making the vehicle more expensive in the long term. Ask for a calculation of your total costs, not just your monthly costs.

7. Not doing any independent research – Today, you have lots of resources for research. You can find lists of the safest vehicles on the road, can log on to brand websites and read about the special features or options available on different vehicles, you can read blogs, or even see what a dealership like ours has on the lot before you even come to visit us. Doing a little bit of independent research will make it much, much easier to find the car that you want and will probably shorten the entire car buying experience.

8. Picking something flashy instead of something practical – It can be very tempting to buy the sports car, when what you actually need for your lifestyle is the more sensible sedan. Luckily, Kia offers a wide variety of different vehicles that are both stylish and functional, so you do not have to choose between the two. You should still be mindful, however, of how you are going to use your car and what type of vehicle might be best for those needs.

10 Myths To Consider When Buying A Car

If you’ve never bought a car before (or it has been a long time since you bought your last car) the entire process might be a mystery to you. Instead of just winging your way through the car shopping experience and believing what past car buyers have told you about the process, get informed about car buying. Here are ten of the biggest car buying myths and the truth behind those myths.

1. Buying a car on a rainy day means you will get better service. You are likely to get great service no matter when you come to our dealership, but some people still say that if you shop on a day when it is raining, you are unlikely to see many other buyers on the lot. The truth is that everyone has heard this advice. That means that everyone who is trying to buy a car is trying to do it on a rainy day, which means you are not going to find the lot empty.

 2. Don’t tell the salesperson what type of car you want to trade in before they have priced your new car. Some people think that hiding their trade in vehicle until after they have already cemented the price of their new car is a good way to get the salesperson to give them a better deal on that trade in car. The truth is, however, that all salespeople use the true value of your trade in in order to formulate a trade in price for you.

3. Don’t tell your salesperson you are actually planning on leasing. For some reason, many car shoppers have heard that they can get a better deal on a lease if they pretend that they are actually planning on buying a car and at the last minute tell the dealership they actually want to lease, or that salespeople will inflate a car’s price if they find out that someone is leasing. The problem with this myth is that most vehicles have set leasing prices.

 4. You need to be prepared to walk out on your salesperson. This myth dictates that you will only be able to get the price on the car that you want if you are prepared to drop everything and walk out if they do not give you that price. In the day of the internet, however, when it is very easy to get price guarantees online before you ever show up at a dealership, there is no need to haggle and persuade most salespeople to give you a great deal—you can be sure that you are already getting one.

 kia-picanto5. You have to read every single word in your contract. It’s unlikely that you are going to have the time to do this and even less likely that it is necessary. A dealership is not asking you to sign away your soul. Most car buying contracts are extremely standard—you agree to pay the price of the car and they agree to give you the car. If you feel so uncomfortable in the dealership that you feel like this is a necessity, you are probably buying from the wrong dealership.

6. Demand only to work with the manager. The sales manager is not the only person in the dealership who is able to give you a good price on a vehicle. In fact, every salesperson is bale to give you a great deal. Every dealership has a number of specials and deals for their customers, and every salesperson is authorized to negotiate on price. There is usually no reason to demand to speak only to the sales manager.

 7. Bring a cashier’s check with the amount you’re willing to pay. This is one of the oldest car buying myths that needs to stop being spread around. There is no way that a dealership is going to take kindly to people who behave like this, especially if the number on your cashier’s check was formulated not by the dealership, but by the buyer. Have you taken into account all of the fees and taxes that come along with buying a car? What if the dealership was actually willing to take a price lower than the one on your check?

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 8. The internet has all the best deals. While the internet does have some good deals, you can’t buy a car online (yet). This means that the best and most relevant deals are where you can actually buy a car—at a dealership. Many dealership are running deals and specials that they never post online. Looking for a great deal on a car? Visit the dealership to find out what kinds of deals they have on that particular day.

 9. You should get your own financing. This may speed up the car buying process (slightly), but it may not actually be better for your dealership and they may not even be willing to sell to people that insist on finding their own financing. Many dealerships have special deals and partnerships with banks in the area to give you better rates than you would be able to get independently.

10. Buying at the end of the month means the sellers are desperate and will give you a better deal. While it’s true that some dealerships may give you a better deal on stock still on their lot that they want to sell before the month ends, it’s also true that if they have already sold off all of that stock, they are unlikely to have any special deals for getting rid of those cars. Instead, try align when you buy a car with the best deals and discounts.