Are you looking for the right vehicle? Choosing a car is a difficult decision that can bring hassle, disappointment, and huge money loss. If you look at auto complaints left on PissedConsumer.com, you’ll see how often consumers face issues with new cars, auto repairs, extended warranties, and auto scams.

To help you avoid the daunting experience when buying a new car, we’ve asked for automotive experts’ advice. In this article, you’ll find the best auto tips on how to buy a vehicle, which car to buy, and how to choose an auto warranty to avoid scams.

Automotive Experts Interviewed by PissedConsumer.com:

Lauren FixLauren Fix CEO of Automotive Aspects and the Editor-in-Chief of Car Coach Reports, a global automotive news outlet. Lauren is an automotive contributor to local and national television news shows and co-host of a regular show “His Turn - Her Turn” on ABC.com. She is the author of three best-selling, award-winning books.

Eric HormillaEric Hormilla Founder and CEO of Blue Diamon Auto Leasing,a company that is focused on making the new car leasing experience a hassle-free one. Eric has been in the auto industry for over 17 yrs and has done it all from washing and prepping cars to finance and sales. He has worked at major auto dealers such as Mercedes, Lincoln, HGreg, and luxury auto dealers.

Zoriy BirenboymZoriy Birenboym Founder and CEO of eAutolease.com, a modern auto dealership that is focused on helping people find the perfect vehicle. He is also the founder of eAutoCollision, the highest-rated auto body repair shop. Zoriy is a car nut who is passionate about the auto industry and its future.

Ben ReynoldsBen Reynolds Founder and CEO of Sure Dividend, an expert in auto investing. Ben provides high-quality dividend stock recommendations through the monthly Sure Dividend newsletters by utilizing eight quantitative rules-based on common-sense approaches. This helps new and experienced investors make wise investments for their long-term future.

Top Questions Answered About Cars, Auto Warranties, and Leasing:

What Should You Know When Buying a Car?

Lauren Fix: ...the first thing you should do is kind of decide what you want. I've had more people ask me that. It's the first line in my third book, which is, "What's the best car out there?" That's a pretty broad question. What's your budget? How many seats do you want? Do you want a convertible, a hardtop, an SUV, a sedan, a truck? I mean, there are a million questions…

So once you've kind of decided, "All right. I kind of found out that I want a smaller SUV." Okay, great. Now, do you have a price point? So that's where again, keep tapering it down. So when you kind of figure out what cars you're looking at, my suggestion is to go to websites like mine, Car Coach Reports, and look at all the car reviews.

Get a multitude of opinions, not one, but I mean like three or four. It's the smartest thing you can do because then you can see the strengths and weaknesses that each person finds…

And don't let any sales consultant tell you, "Well if you buy it elsewhere, we won't service it." 

Absolutely not. It's a federal law through the franchising laws that if you buy any brand, you buy a Ford anywhere on the entire planet, a Ford dealer will take care of you.

Eric Hormilla: What consumers should focus is on educating themselves on how to make sure they fulfill their requirements with their budget. 

Before falling in love with a car do your research, do not make an emotional car investment decision because you will regret it. 

Start by visiting the car’s brand website to get the full specs and upgrades, then search online for reviews, pricing, and rebates from trusted online sources. You need to analyze your financial status to determine the down payment and monthly budget.

Once your finances are clear and the expectations are set correctly you can narrow your best options that best fit your needs and budget. And don’t be afraid to ask for a reasonable discount.

What Car to Buy: Electric vs. Gas, New vs. Used?

Lauren Fix: Personally, I think there needs to be a mix. I am not an electric car person. And the reason for that is I think people are being sold on what the press is telling them. And I'm talking about the mainstream press of watching television and maybe some places. What you forget is that…

...when you purchase a new car, typically your insurance goes up. But when you purchase an electric car, the insurance is twice as expensive.

So that's the first thing you have to think about. The cost of that vehicle is more expensive than a gasoline-powered vehicle. So you have to calculate that into your budget, into your life. And yes, there are some $7,500 tax credits except for General Motors and Tesla. But then I always tell people, "You forget they need to be serviced." And servicing these cars, and yes, there are moving parts, is more expensive than it is on a gasoline-powered car...

...I'm a huge diesel fan. I have two diesel SUVs. They go 700 miles on a tank at 34 miles to the gallon. And the demand for used diesel is super high. So if you're looking for one, whether it be a Porsche, a Land Rover, Jaguar, or a Volkswagen, good luck finding them, because they're sold like that. And the reason for it is people that are doing their homework, realize that.

Zoriy Birenboym: It is good to buy a car that was leased, just make sure to do your homework. Make sure the carfax is good. The vehicle was serviced and repaired and that there are no skeletons in the closet to make sure you're not gonna lose any money. Definitely do your checks, make sure banks are giving the best rates of credit accordingly, and so on. Make sure to buy an extended warranty if you're planning to drive a lot because repairs are very expensive today. Parts run a lot of money especially on vehicles that have a lot of technology in them.

When to Buy a Car?

Ben Reynolds: Always do proper research when shopping for a vehicle to find reputable dealers and use free online resources to predict your interest rate based on your credit score. Although when you want to buy an old car, it’s essential to figure out the current resale prices since this can give you an advantage when the dealers are overpricing it. 

If you’re able to wait, choose the best month and day of the week to receive the best discounts. For instance, December is an excellent month to buy a vehicle since companies try to meet a sales goal before the new year.

Lauren Fix: ...we now have a rubber shortage. So that means tires, windshield wipers, belts, bushings, all the parts, a lot of the new parts inside those CVT transmissions. And that's a problem. So now we have an additional shortage. And the thing with rubber is it takes seven years to grow a tree… So we'll see how this all unfolds. 

But right now the impact to consumers is, I say, if you have a car that's coming off a lease, see if you can extend it, to the fall would be great.

If you're saying, "No, I got to get a new car. Mine had a problem." Note that be very, very, very aware that new car prices are not negotiable if they have the product, and used car prices are higher and more expensive.

So you may have to buy something older or something that's not certified pre-owned because nobody wants to give up their vehicle. And more people are buying vehicles when we thought rideshares were going to be the answer. After this, I don't think rideshares have a chance, because people don't want to ride in other people's cars because of COVID.

How to Lease a Car?

Zoriy Birenboym: Pretty much all vehicles can be leased in the USA, there are some that don't qualify like some commercial vehicles. New car dealerships really don't look at cars, they get what they sell from their franchise agreement and the according to manufacturers. Leasing is a very big business in the country and a giant booster to the economy as much as the housing market is. Once in a while, there is a program for used car leasing but today it's mainly closed ending new car leasing, which means the car goes back at the end of the lease.

Eric Hormilla: There are recommended protection options you should take when leasing a car: paint protection, wheels, and tire protection, wear and tear. If you take the coverage at the time of doing your paperwork, you will end up paying less because at the time of returning your lease most likely you will have to pay a lump sum for the normal damages.

How to Avoid Scams When Buying or Leasing a Vehicle?

Ben Reynolds: Know what’s necessary during the process of buying an RV or other vehicle. For instance, some dealers will trick you into thinking you have to hand over your social security number and driver’s license to copy them while you’re test driving an RV. You don’t need to have them copy anything, and they could be doing a credit check while you’re on your test drive. 

This could mess with your credit score, especially if they decide to have lenders run a credit check on you. However, you can stop this scam by letting them come with you on your test drive to ensure you’re coming back with the vehicle without risking damage to your credit score. 

Zoriy Birenboym: In today's world, in order not to get scammed while leasing a car, make sure to look at reviews and do your homework that you're dealing with a credible source. Make sure everything is up to par and you can trust your information with the company. Everything is delicate, especially information, and there are so many people out there looking to do harm. Make sure to always do your due diligence and to ask all the right questions.

How to Choose an Auto Warranty?

Lauren Fix: There's a couple of websites you can go to, but pretty much every website is going to try and sell you on the same thing. The only thing that could be a problem is if that company goes out of business, and that has happened in the past and the dealer or the used car lot that sold it to you cannot back it up. It's not them. You bought the service through them, but it came from a dealer.

So you need to really think about, "What am I doing with this car? How many miles I'm going to put on?" Are you using it for long-distance driving, or you're just driving it around town? And you do that basic maintenance that it says to do your owner's manual. If you do that, you shouldn't have problems.

If you fail to go after the vehicle when there's a check engine light, you hear a squeak while it's breaking, maybe there's trouble starting, or it's making noises in weird places, and you ignore it, that's when a little bill becomes a very large bill. And you hope to God that you have this extended warranty and that it's covered because it's not covered under every single warranty.

Eric Hormilla: When choosing a new extended warranty or a CPO (certified pre-owned) the number one question to ask is what are the coverages, and what is covered. Different warranty levels may have different names, for example, Basic, Platinum, or Gold coverages which explains the extent of coverage that vehicle may have.

Another question will be, how long will that vehicle be covered for? How long and how many miles? When does it begin? At the time of the sale or once the factory warranty expires? Very important. Does that warranty cover a loaner vehicle in the event that your car will need extensive repairs?

How Do Auto Warranties Work With Different Vehicles?

Lauren Fix: (about electric cars)...When you're looking at the computer processors that are involved, you heard about that with the semiconductor chips, you're talking about 10 fold more than that of a gasoline and electric car, even with the cool new screens and technology and awesome safety features that require more technology, which is why there's a slowdown now of getting the product to market because it's semiconductors. 

But you will note that if that car is damaged in an accident, it has to be replaced or repaired. And the repair costs are more expensive and the replacement costs are more expensive. And so, therefore, your insurance is higher.

And also there's a higher risk. If a fireman doesn't know how to shut off the power properly, or somebody, a first responder who gets hurt, that leads to other insurance costs. So if it costs more for the insurance company and they have what's called a reinsurance company, it's going to cost you more money.

Eric Hormilla: All leased vehicles come with a basic factory warranty. Now depending on the brand, the coverage will vary. For luxury brands such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Cadillac, Lincoln, etc. will have better customer service as far as car loners and pick up and delivery for your new car with towing included if needed.

They may also consist of a higher mileage warranty or even include a maintenance package based depending on trim levels. Other common brands like Chevy, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Kia, and Hyundai offer 36 months / 3 years which is your average everyday driver for the time of the lease.

What Are Some Auto Warranty Scams?

Ben Reynolds: Scammers might contact you through mail or phone and pretend to be from your manufacturer. However, you should always remain cautious when dealing with calls like these, especially when they use phrases like “Final Warranty Notice” or they want to collect sensitive information. You can't always go by caller ID either since some scammers will spoof reputable business numbers. 

While some people can get extended warranties from their legitimate manufacturer, always make sure you’re relating your vulnerable information to reputable employees. 

Third-party warranty providers might also try to lure you into buying from them. Those are usually a waste of money since they usually won’t cover certain repairs.

Conclusion

When buying a new car, you want to make sure you get the best bang for your buck. Before you choose the vehicle of your dreams, make sure to research the auto dealership, auto warranty policies, and check reviews.

We thank our automotive experts for valuable insights and for sharing their auto tips on how to buy a car and avoid auto scams. Check more expert tips in our Help Center and keep tabs on new video interviews by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

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