Happy Friday!! I’m still here in Kauai for a couple more days (and promise I will have posts up soon filling you in on all the excitement that’s been going on here), but for today I wanted to share some other big news that happened back at home a couple week ago. Simply put, WE FINALLY DID IT!! After talking about buying a car for the last year or so, we finally pulled the trigger and bought ourselves a new vehicle (well, technically not new new, but new to us!). Both Adrian and I had owned our cars for 12-13 years, and besides things just randomly breaking here and there, we had simply just outgrown both of our little compact sedans. They had been our cars through our college days but now that we have two kids, car seats, and a constant need for either baby gear or sports equipment for their extracurriculars, we needed a car that fit our new lifestyle!
Over the past year, I have been test-driving different borrowed cars here and there and knew that I wanted something bigger — I just wasn’t sure if it would be an SUV, minivan, or something else. I actually loved hearing all of the feedback that you guys gave me through your comments, messages, and emails with your vehicle recommendations as they made a world of difference in my decision-making process! Ultimately I decided that I that wanted a compact performance crossover. A full-size SUV seemed a little too unwieldy (backing up and maneuvering around something so big seemed tricky at times for me) and I just couldn’t get on board with the whole minivan concept (even though I know so many moms that swear by it!). Having owned a sporty, manual-transmission car for so long, I still wanted something that felt nimble and had power behind it whenever I stepped on the pedal and a crossover seemed like just the right in-between option!
Anyways, even though I had more or less narrowed down the kind of car I wanted in my head, I was still procrastinating on actually going to a dealership. Probably the biggest holdup was just the fear of the actual car-buying process. I felt uninformed, unprepared, and apprehensive about going up against a salesperson who had all the cards in his hands. Then a few months ago, I learned about the Capital One® Auto Navigator® website and loved that it laid out the entire process in a clear and straightforward way that made it easy and unintimidating! So here are the car buying tips Capital One offers:
- Pre-qualify w/ no risk or obligations. On the website, you start with seeing how much you’re pre-qualified for. The best part is that the check is a soft inquiry so it doesn’t make any impact on your credit score! It takes only a few minutes and the pre-qualification process doesn’t mean that you are obligated to finance through Capital One at all — their only goal is to help simplify car buying and financing!
- Find cars + see real rates. Search from more than 3 million cars from over 12,000 participating dealers to find a car that fits what you’re looking for. It’s so helpful to see real monthly payments and APRs for each car so I was able to easily see what worked for our budget.
- Personalize financing options. On the Capital One website, I was also able to adjust information like price, down payment amount, and term length to help us stay within our monthly payment limit. Since information is specific per car, I was able to adjust and save as I went along on all the vehicles I was interested in!
- Visit the dealership prepared! After going through the website, I felt informed and confident. I knew what I was eligible for in terms of financing and had a much better idea out of what I could expect when meeting with a salesperson. And while I didn’t have to use my Capital One® Auto Navigator® pre-qualification offer, it felt secure bringing it along with me at least knowing I had this already set up for me!
It didn’t take us very long to finally decide on the car we wanted. I was still a little nervous as we signed our names on the official documents, but I actually felt good about the whole process and informed about the decision I was making! The dealer cleaned up the car for us and before we knew it, it was sitting in our driveway!
The kids have been loving the extra space in our new car and I just love that we have a car that finally fits our new lifestyle as parents!
pin now, save for later!
What has your car-buying experience been like? Do you have any car buying tips to share? I’d love to read in the comments!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.