4 key questions to ask when shopping for a vehicle


Posted: September 12, 2022 | Word Count: 597

From seeking more fuel efficiency or seating capacity to replacing an older or less reliable car, there are many reasons to be in the market for a vehicle today. Whatever the reason may be, when it comes to purchasing, there are a variety of factors to consider to set you up for success. After all, since the average American drives thousands of miles per year, buying a car is a major decision that can be made easier with a thoughtful approach.

To help in your vehicle search, consider asking yourself these questions:

1. Where should I buy?

Determining who to buy from can play an important role in the overall experience. And there is no shortage of options, like traditional dealerships, online retailers, individual sellers or rental car companies that offer pre-owned vehicles for sale. Buying from a seller you trust can pay big dividends when it comes to peace of mind. Consider whether you know the seller. If buying from a retailer versus an individual, consider how long they have been in business and if they have an upstanding reputation, especially when it comes to providing exceptional customer service. Additionally, who you buy from can impact if you’ll need to negotiate on price, which not everyone enjoys doing. Some dealers offer “no haggle” pricing, meaning the price listed is the price you’ll pay, or price transparency, which means the vehicle price, taxes, fees and other costs are clearly labeled and presented upfront.

2. Will I be purchasing a reliable vehicle?

No matter who you buy from, ensuring that you are buying a high-quality vehicle is of the utmost importance. Do your research before signing on the dotted line, and always conduct a test drive if you can. Some dealers also offer additional benefits to help protect a purchase. For example, all vehicles purchased through Enterprise Car Sales are “Enterprise Certified” and pass an inspection by ASE-certified technicians. These vehicles also come with a 12-month/12,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, 12 months of roadside assistance and offer a seven-day return policy.

3. How soon do I need the vehicle?

Today, lead times to obtain vehicles can vary widely. For example, wait times for a “build-to-order” car — that is, a car custom-ordered from a factory — may last up to 12 weeks with some lead times lasting six months to more than a year. On the contrary, many used car sellers feature inventory that is readily available, so you can select from options that you know are in stock, including different makes and models with a wide range of different features. If you need a vehicle now, purchasing a used car could be a faster option.

4. How do I want to purchase the vehicle?

Purchasing a vehicle today can be done in a variety of different ways. Choosing a seller that matches your buying preference is something to consider. Buying a car in person remains a common option, but vehicles today can also be purchased in many states without ever stepping foot inside a dealership. There are hybrid purchasing models as well. For example, Enterprise Car Sales customers have the option to begin their purchase online and finalize it at one of the many Enterprise dealerships across the U.S. if they choose.

“There are several considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a vehicle today, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach,” said Mike Bystrom, vice president at Enterprise Car Sales. “One thing is certain — regardless of how or where you choose to purchase, you shouldn’t have to compromise on receiving great customer service.”

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