Lots of people get stressed out when it comes time to buy a car. There’s a lot of information out there when it comes to car buying, and some people get overwhelmed trying to wade through it all.

But it doesn’t need to be difficult. There are a few common and easily avoidable mistakes that many people make when buying a car. Here are the most important ones:

1. Not being nice to your salesperson

You catch a lot more flies with honey than you do with vinegar, and if you want to get a good deal on a car, you should absolutely be nice to the person you’re doing business with. Too many people think that being difficult or rude will get them better pricing, but it’s treating the salesperson with respect that will get you the better deal.

2. Taking valuation estimates too literally 

Looking up the trade-in value of your vehicle online is a pretty common thing to do, but taking the value that you find as gospel instead of as a starting point is a mistake. Your vehicle condition, the market demands of the area where you live, and the dealer’s ability to resell the car all play a part in determining your trade in value, so try to be realistic.

3. Having unrealistic expectations 

There’s almost always a difference between what we expect and what we can (or are willing to) afford. This is true for buying a vehicle as well. You can’t buy a $50,000 car with a $300 a month payment unless you put tens of thousands of dollars down. So make sure you’re setting the right expectations for yourself when you’re shopping for a new ride.

4. Not going on a test drive 

You should always, always, always take the vehicle that you’re looking at on a test drive. Not doing so would be like buying a pair of jeans without trying them on. You need to feel how the vehicle drives and make sure that it’s something you feel comfortable in and actually want. Don’t skip the test drive or you might find yourself unhappy when you’re driving it home.

5. Buying from someone you don’t trust 

Auto sales has changed significantly over the last several decades, and the fast-talking sale has been replaced by a consultative approach that prizes good customer service. Which is all the more reason why you should do business with someone who you trust, and someone who will have your best interests at heart. If you don’t feel comfortable doing business with someone, then you shouldn’t.

I hope these tips help you on your car buying journey, and please feel free to contact me if you’d like my help finding your next vehicle.