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How to Buy a Car in Five Steps

Shaking Hands Over Sold Car


At Holiday Automotive, we get a lot of questions about the car shopping experience. What’s the best time to buy a car? How do I know what to look for in a new car? What are the steps for buying a car? The good news is that the steps for buying a car are simple, and it’s a lot of fun to buy your new Mazda! In this guide, we run you through the basics of buying a car – from the initial research to the test drive to closing the deal!

Step 1: Research Your Options

There’s no shortage of information about the makes and models we sell at Holiday Automotive past, present, and future, so get to know your choices while you determine what to look for in a new car. Do you want a small and fuel-efficient Mazda3 or a spacious Mazda CX-9? Think about your priorities as far as budget, dimensions, features, and more. Create a short list of candidates and look up safety scores, expert reviews, and price comparisons around the Ripon and Oshkosh area.

Step 2: Get Pre-Approved

Securing affordable financing is an important step before you buy your new Mazda. The best time to buy a car is when you’re in a good financial position to do so, but you can secure a loan even if your credit score is less than perfect. Get pre-approved to find out how much you can afford to spend on your next vehicle, and if you’re applying to several lenders, be sure to submit your applications within a 2 week period to avoid marks on your credit score.

Step 3: Plan Your Trade-In

Do you have an old car that you’d like to trade in? Get your car’s current trade-in value off sites like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. You can even use our Value Your Trade tool to get a quick assessment. This is just an estimate, but it can be a valuable tool during your negotiations.

Step 4: Take Your Test Drive

Now that you have your budget and your list of favorite models, take a test drive. The best time to buy a car is typically in the mornings, early in the week, when there are fewer people at the dealership. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Verify that the car is still in stock, since inventories can move fast.
  • Ask the dealership if the car has any dealer-installed options to see how that affects price and value.
  • Schedule your test drive, so you don’t have to wait at the dealership. You can also schedule at-home test drives in many places around Sheboygan and West Bend.
  • Try to recreate a typical day of driving during your test drive. This one of the most crucial steps for buying a car.
  • Take your time and don’t feel rushed when buying a new car.

Step 5: Get a Great Deal!

You’ve found the right car, and now you need to get the right price. Compare prices around the Beaver Dam area and look at sites like Edmunds to get a better sense of good “out the door” prices. Use this information to negotiate, though keep other factors in mind like interest rate, the loan term, and the value of your trade-in. When you’ve agreed on a price, it’s time to sign and get the keys in your hand!

Buy a New Vehicle at Holiday Automotive

Knowing the steps for buying a car can save time and effort at the dealership, so why not try out your new skills at Holiday Automotive? We’re located in Fond du Lac, so visit us today to get behind the wheel. Contact us with any questions!


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