All of us can be backseat drivers sometimes. But what about backseat car shoppers?
Much like backseat driving, it’s hard to know the difference between pointing out helpful observations and irritating your driver. But unlike driving a car, shopping for a car can be a bit daunting for friends and family members who aren’t used to the inside of a dealership. While you can’t do all the work for your loved ones in this position, there are some handy ways to help make their decision easier. And rest assured, no one will be irritated by this kind of assistance.
Here are 5 things you can do to help anyone you know find a perfect vehicle for them.
1. Establish what they want
“The Paradox of Choice” is a well documented phenomenon in which buyers get increasingly anxious when faced with too many options to choose from. Considering that there are literally thousands of different possible vehicles in this model year alone, there’s a good chance your prospective vehicle shopper is having this same problem.
If you can help narrow down exactly what they’re looking for in a vehicle, you can lift a ton of anxiety off of their shoulders. This can be as simple as asking if they want a large or compact vehicle, or as small as whether or not they want a sunroof. Even if you don’t find an exact car at this stage, establishing a ballpark is a huge help.
2. Figure out their monthly budget
While it’s generally good for everyone to have their own monthly budget, it can be tricky to do the math and realistically figure out how much to spend every month. Or if you do have a budget already, adding a payment plan for a vehicle can still throw you for a loop. But as is the case with most things in life, two heads are better than one for solving this problem.
A solid monthly budget can go a long way for your vehicle shopper. Not only will they have a realistic idea of what they can spend, they also won’t be stressed about overspending in the dealership. A penny saved is a penny earned, and a penny planned is a penny well spent.
3. Consider finding a cosigner (if you aren’t one yourself)
For new car shoppers in particular, it can help to have someone cosign on a vehicle. This helps someone with minimal credit history get a better interest rate, as it essentially gives the dealership someone who is personally vouching for the shopper’s ability to make payments.
Agreeing to be a cosigner is a major boon to a car shopper. But if you don’t want to be a cosigner for any reason, you can still make a list of loved ones who might be able to instead. This way, you can still lend a hand without feeling obligated to do anything you aren’t comfortable with.
4. Get their paperwork in order
This is admittedly a minor point, but one that’s easy to forget. A car shopper can speed the process along by having the right paperwork on them, such as a recent pay stub and a driver’s license. If they plan to trade in a vehicle, it also helps to have the vehicle’s title as well.
Getting the right paperwork together is a small task, but it’ll go a long way in saving your car shopper time at the dealership.
5. Refer them to a good salesperson
As much as you can help someone buy a car, only a car salesperson can show them around the lot and let them test drive their vehicle of choice. That said, if you know a good car salesperson that helped you buy your vehicle, you’ll do everyone involved a great service by making a referral. And, of course, I’d be more than happy to help them as well!
If you want any more details on how to help someone shop for a car, consider giving me a call. Perhaps being a backseat car shopper doesn’t sound too great, but with these tips, you’ll be more like a copilot car shopper. And in almost every scenario, having a copilot is preferable to flying solo.