It’s very easy to just jump in with both feet and just download the best used and new car buying apps for the year 2020. After all, you probably have heard all sorts of hype and great reviews about these apps.


The problem with doing things this way is that it’s very easy to just become the victim of your outsized expectations. You may be thinking that this is not much of a problem.


But if you approach any kind of situation with the wrong kind of mindset, you’re probably more likely to make mistakes that you otherwise would not have committed.


That’s just the bottom line. Unfortunately, regardless of how familiar you are with the whole car buying process, there’s just so many other moving parts or hidden issues that you may be unaware of that can get in the way.


You may be thinking that with the advice on these apps and the information that you got from them, you will probably make the right call. Well, that’s what you think. In many cases, you will probably end up paying more money for a car that’s probably not the best fit for your situation.


What went wrong? Well, the truth is, if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. It doesn’t really get any simpler than that. A lot of people use that saying, but there’s a reason why they use it. It’s absolutely true. It applies to a wide range of situations.


Guess what? Using new car buying apps is one of these situations. The worst thing that can happen is to go about doing things in such a way that you think you are well prepared to make the right decision.


In other words, you are going into it with a false sense of confidence. You don’t really realize that you’re actually getting ripped off.


The key here is to make an informed decision. That really should be the bottom line. If you’re able to do that, everything else will flow from it. You just have to manage to get that part of the decision-making process right.


So how do you make this happen? Well, keep the following advice in mind.


Don’t use apps as a shortcut


Here’s the thing. You cannot use apps as a replacement for a wise buying strategy. While apps have all sorts of bells and whistles, and they definitely look good, at the end of the day you still are going to have to make a decision.


How do you make a decision? You have to use logic. You have to rely on facts. You have to figure out what went before, what went after and, and what’s going on during the decision-making process.


You have to rely on your experience. There is no ready substitute for this, unfortunately. You’re going to have to do this yourself. You’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and make the hard call so you can make the right decision.


Unfortunately, without the right strategy, it’s just not going to happen. Downloading an app is not a strategy nor a substitute. You’ll have to do some heavy lifting mentally before you get to the nitty-gritty of actually buying a new car whether it’s actually new or used.


Be clear on why you’re getting a new car


Now a lot of people who are on the market for a new vehicle think that they already have this part figured out. Well, that’s the problem. You may assume that you have the answer. You may assume that you need something.


It turns out that you don’t need it. It turns out that the car you currently have is more than up to the job. It may well turn out that you don’t really need a car right here right now. It might actually be several years from now until you need a new vehicle.


You have to understand that there’s a big difference between wants and needs. If you’re going to buy stuff based on your wants, you’re going to run out of money very quickly. Let’s face it, all of us have a long list of the things that we want.


I want to go to Spain, or Paris, France right now. But obviously, there are many other more pressing objectives on my plate. I’m sure the same applies to you. With all things being equal, I’m sure you would want a Porsche Carrera right now. Most people would.


But since we are based in reality, there are probably other more pressing concerns as far as your budget goes. Do you see how this works? So be clear as to whether you actually need a car right now. You have to fully understand why it needs to happen today, not tomorrow or the day after.


Understand your car selection parameters


This is where a lot of people drop the ball. They think that if their friend has a BMW or Volkswagen, that pretty much seals the deal. They just need to look at what other people are driving and that makes their decision for them.


That’s not true. It may not apply to you. Just because BMW works for your friend who makes $300,000 a year, doesn’t necessarily mean it makes all the sense in the world. As far as you are concerned, you have your own budget realities.


You have your own needs. You have your own infrastructure. Maybe you don’t have parking for it. There are just so many different considerations you need to clearly identify so you can line everything up and point them to the right decision.


Simply going by what everybody else is doing, is sure to lead you to the wrong path. So, pay close attention to your budget and your personal preferences.


When do you plan to buy?


Equally important as why you need to buy it is when do you need to buy it. You have to understand that budgets are usually cyclical. In other words, given the right time, you would be able to afford a much more expensive car than the models you’re looking at now.


It could also be vice versa. So, line up your scheduling considerations to maximize your budget. It may well turn out that if you just waited a few months or a few quarters, you could actually buy a much better car as far as brand and age are concerned.


Be clear about your maximum price


A lot of car buyers are actually very emotional when it comes to their budget. They would swear up and down that they only have this much to spend. They might even convince you that they are aware of their budget.


But once they get this smooth sales talk from the used car salesman because the car that they’re looking at has a nice logo. all bets are off. They let their emotions get the better of them. When they left the car lot, they had spent several more thousand dollars than they initially intended.


This is not a theory. This has happened to a lot of people I know. I’m sure if you’re caught unaware, it could probably happen to you.


Be clear about the lowest car condition you’ll accept


If you’re clear about the maximum price you’re going to pay for a new car, then you also have to be clear about the lowest condition you would accept. This is a little tricky because if you’re not a mechanic, looks can be deceiving.


I’ve seen beat up looking cars that actually have amazing engines and pristine transmission systems. The flip side is also true that the outer shell of the car might look awesome. In fact, it might look like it just rolled off a new car dealer’s lot.


However, when you pay attention to its transmission, air conditioning system as well as its powertrain, it’s actually a complete mess.


So, don’t look at what you see. Don’t dwell on it. Bring a mechanic with you or get some sort of professional assessment of the car you’re thinking of buying.