If your family seems to be running out of room in your compact or mid-sized car, it may be time to buy a minivan.
Not only can this type of vehicle comfortably seat most families, but it can also provide lots of cargo space. A vehicle is a major investment, so use these tips on how to buy a minivan before making a purchase.
Method 1 – Prepare Financially
Make sure you can afford the vehicle. Most minivans cost a bit more than the average compact or midsized car, so check your budget to make sure that it can accommodate the new expense. Since minivans can lose their value quickly, a good idea might be to buy a used minivan.
Get pre-approved by a bank or credit union. This way, you will know exactly how much money you can spend when buying a minivan. You are also likely to get the best rate on an auto loan when you use a bank or credit union to which you are a member.
Check the Kelly Blue Book to get an idea of the prices you can expect for a minivan. Look at both the used and new sections under Vans/Minivans so that you can compare the difference in price between the two.
Method 2- Select the Features That You Want
Think about the number of seats you need. Most minivans feature 7 seats, but a few models boast 8 or 9. Most minivans allow you to easily remove or fold down at least one row of seats, which is something to consider if you want extra cargo space and only need seating for 4 or 5 people.
Choose a minivan that has the door style you like. Some vans only have a sliding door on one side, while other newer models offer doors on both sides of the vehicle. Some minivans allow you to open the doors with the press of a button.
Determine the safety features that appeal to you. Rear backup alert systems, traction control, and headlights that stay on in the day can all make it a bit easier to drive safely. You should also consider whether you need side air bags, or perhaps the kind that can sense whether there is a passenger in the seat. Make sure it has a rearview camera – rearward visibility in a minivan when reversing is minimal at best.
Method 3 – Compare Makes and Models
Read reviews written by automobile professionals and minivan owners before you buy. These should provide the pros and cons of the models that interest you. Reviews can be found on websites and in magazines.
Ask friends and family members who own minivans about their vehicles.Get an idea of their likes and dislikes before buying a minivan, as they may point out the factors that you never considered. For example, the vehicle might not handle very well uphill, or it might not feel as spacious as it looks.
Test drive the minivan before you buy one. Listen for any odd sounds during the drive, and pay attention to how it handles turns and rough terrain
Try using the manufacturer’s “Car Configurator” if you are looking to buy a new minivan.
Method 4 – Make Your Purchase
Pick a car lot that sells the minivan you want. Some lots only sell sedans, sports cars and full-sized vans, or do not have a large selection of minivans if they sell them at all.
Bring your pre-approval letter if your own bank has already agreed to extend you credit. Apply for credit at the lot if you did not get pre-approved, unless you are able to pay the entire cost of the minivan upfront.
Consider trading in your old vehicle to make the minivan more affordable. If you do not like the offer given for the old car, consider selling it on your own unless you plan to keep it.
Take the Kelly Blue Book with you when you make your purchase. This allows you to show the salesperson the price you were expecting if he told you a much higher one. If the dealership is unwilling to negotiate, check out a different lot until you see a price you like.
- While Kelly Blue Book is a good resource outlet. They are just that. They do not sell or buy vehicles, nor do they consider, in most cases, many of the reasons that one vehicle may be higher that another from lot to lot, or even on the same lot.