A friend of mine recently bought a new car, and my husband had been helping her out by keeping an eye out for a good deal. This reminded me of my last car purchase. I bought my Mustang in 2001 and, while the car has been a real gem, I made quite a few mistakes when I bought it.
1. I took the salesman at his word. When he first showed me the Mustang, the salesman said that he thought the previous owner had added an after market upgrade. Even though my dad and brother are both grease monkeys, I didn't have them verify the upgrade until after I had bought my car. What do you know? NO after market upgrade.
2. I let the salesman talk me into a different car than what I had gone there for. I went to the dealership looking for a 1995-1997 Mustang. They didn't have any, but the salesman showed me a shiny black 2000 Mustang and let me take it home for the weekend! Smart guy, huh? Of course, I fell in love with the car. :)
3. I didn't do my research. Even though I had an entire weekend to look into how much the car was worth, I didn't do it. After buying the car, I eventually did the research and realized that I had overpaid for it by at least $1,000.
Overall, this wasn't the worst purchase I've ever made. My Mustang has been really good to me, and I've had very few mechanical problems with it. I still love driving it around, even after 7 years. And then there's the fact that I learned a few valuable lessons during it's purchase, which will come in very handy the next time I need to buy a car!
I'd love to hear about your car buying lessons learned!