What You Should Know Before Buying a Car in Oregon

Purchasing a car is a large investment. As the buyer, you should do everything in your power to ensure the safety and success of this investment. Unfortunately, the car-buying process can be confusing, whether you are a first-time buyer or previous owner. The automotive dealer business involves a lot of opportunities for scams and bad deals. The more information you have about the car-buying process in Oregon, the savvier you can be as a consumer.

Men Shaking Hands, One Man Receiving Car Keys

The Kelley Blue Book Price

Kelley Blue Book is the standard for automobile prices in the industry. It is a helpful resource for vehicle pricing information and the most trusted source in the business. Always check the Kelley Blue Book value of a vehicle before buying. The system enables you to enter all the details about the specific vehicle you wish to purchase, including past accidents and any damage to the vehicle. It is easy to type in the information about a vehicle and to get an accurate quote on what the car should cost.

The Kelley Blue Book price can give you a guideline during auto shopping so you will know right away if someone is charging way too much – or too little – for a certain vehicle. Charging too much could be a tactic to try to trick buyers who do not know anything about the value of the vehicle. Charging far too little could be a red flag that something is seriously wrong with the vehicle.

Your Budget

Before you even walk onto a lot, figure out your absolute maximum price range for a new vehicle. Going into the buyer journey with a budget can help you avoid rushed decisions and expensive mistakes. Calculate the most you can spend on a new vehicle based on your current income, assets, and financial responsibilities. Then, decide what you actually want to spend.

Your target price should be what you want to spend, but knowing your absolute maximum can leave you room to negotiate if you really want a vehicle. Negotiate the price based on the total amount you can spend, not based on monthly payments. Basing your decision on monthly payments could lead to more than you are willing to spend over the life of the loan.

How to Negotiate

Negotiation is a critical part of buying a new car in Oregon. The list price is not the final price of the vehicle if you know how to negotiate. Keep in mind that everything is negotiable when buying a new car. This can include the price of the vehicle, the trade-in or sale value of your vehicle, the terms of your loan, financing options available, insurance or service contracts, and warranties. Go in with knowledge about the exact car you want to buy, including its Kelley Blue Book value, as well as information about your current vehicle. The more information you have, the stronger your position during negotiations.

Fees to Expect

The sale price of the vehicle is not what you will actually pay. You will also have to pay for various fees. Luckily, in Oregon, a 0% vehicle sales tax law means no tax on a vehicle purchase. However, if you are a non-resident, you will need to pay the tax in your home state. Arrive prepared to pay for your title and vehicle registration, documentation fee (maximum $150), and a destination charge to ship the vehicle to the lot.

Who to Call for Help With a Lemon

A lemon is a vehicle with manufacturing defects that negatively impact its safety, performance, or value. Some con artists may try to pass lemons off as pristine new vehicles, only to have them fall apart or break down weeks after buyers drive them off the lot. If you encounter manufacturing defects after purchasing a new car in Oregon, contact an attorney for counsel. A Portland personal injury lawyer may be able to help you pursue a claim against the manufacturer, distributor, and/or retailer for damages.