Car buyer’s remorse refers to the doubt or regret people feel after buying a new car. This feeling of dissatisfaction with a purchase is quite common when it comes to expensive items like cars and real estate. Negative feelings associated with the purchase is exacerbated because there’s usually a car loan or a long-term financial commitment attached to it.

Why do we feel car buyer’s remorse?

The most common reason people feel car buyer’s remorse is because theyrealise that, perhaps, they didn’t actually need the car they purchased, or that the car they bought isn’t the right one for them.

New car buyer’s remorse can be a bit more intense than typical purchases because cars are big ticket items.Some people may feel like they had too little time to decide or they felt like they weren’t decisive enough during the purchase. During this time, the buyers might second guess the decisions they made leading up to the car purchase, as well.

Top 10 ways to avoid car buyer’s remorse

Buying a new car should be a fun and exciting experience, not one you regret shortly after. The best way to deal with buyer’s remorse is to avoid it entirely.

The key to not regretting your car purchase is making an informed and resolute decision. Follow these top tips to ensure you buy the perfect car for you:

1. Know what you want

If you want to avoid regretting your car purchase, you have to be clear about your goals from the very beginning. Before shopping forcars, it’s vital that you know what you’re looking for.

Do you need a family car to pick the kids up from school, a pickup truck for your business, a car that can go off-roading and camping, or something else entirely? What are your plans for the future? Asking the tough questions will help you decide what type of car is right for you.

List down the features you need in order of priority. Figure out your must-haves and deal breakers and let those guide your car search. Plus, if you know what you want, you’re less likely to be talked into buying something you don’t need.

2. Do your research

Do your due diligence and leave no stone uncovered. Take a deep dive into car dealership websites or manufacturer websites to see what type of make and model will meet your needs. Understanding the different models, types, and their specifications will help you make a better-informed decision when it’s time to make a deal.

A majorcause of car buyer’s remorse is disappointment that the car they bought didn’t perform as they thought it would. You can avoid this by getting as much information as you can about different cars so you know what to expect. Look at reviews online or ask around your friends and colleagues about their opinions on specific vehicles.

3. Narrow down your options

Car buyers are spoilt for choice when it comes to cars in Australia. With so many to choose from, you can easily get overwhelmed. And unfortunately, overwhelmed people don’t always make the best choices leading to car buyer’s remorse.

The best way to avoid this is by narrowing down your options as much as possible. If there are ten cars that tick all your boxes, do your best to narrow them down to a top two or three. Being firm about your choices will saveyou a lot of time when shopping around. This could also save you from being upsold something you don’t really need.

4. Make a realistic budget and stick to it

A lot of people feel remorse because they feel like they’ve overpaid or spent too much on their car. That’s perfectly understandable and can be totally avoided if you create a good budget plan. Look at your finances and figure out what you can afford. If you want something a little more concrete, apply for a pre-approved car loan so you know how much you can borrow.

Making a budget isn’t enough—you also have to follow it through. It might be tempting to add some accessories or go for a model that is just a bit out of your price range, but there’s a reason you have a budget and it’s best to stick with it.

5. Consider the hidden costs

Speaking of finances, don’t forget to include the hidden costs of your car purchase. Things like registration costs, stamp duty, and maintenance costs aren’t always included in the sticker price so make sure you add them in.

Also, think about the running cost of your vehicle. Consider fuel-efficiency and performance because what you might be saving on the purchase price, you could be paying for in petrol or other maintenance fees.

6. Take a test drive

Don’t just take it for a quick lap around the block. Inspect every part of the car that you can. See how well it drives on different terrains. It might be a smooth sailing when driving off the dealership’s lot, but what about up a hill or on the open road? What about driving it at night? Ask the seller if you can take it out for a longer route and schedule a night drive if you can.

In addition to the mechanical aspects of the test drive, pay attention to the layout of the vehicle too. Are the controls comfortably spaced out and within your reach? Is the backseat spacious? Are the features working the way you thought they would? Knowing all these before the purchase will help you pick the perfect car and avoid car buyer’s remorse.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Make a list of everything you need to know about the car and ask them. If there’s anything you’re unsure about, just ask the seller. Buying a car is a serious commitment and the best way to combat car buyer’s remorse is by being completely prepared.

It’s better to ask before making the final purchase than after you’ve already bought the car when there’s nothing you can do about it anymore.

8. Buy what you really want

If you’re basing your purchase solely off the price tag, then you might get car buyer’s remorse later on. Sometimes cheaper isn’t always better when it comes to buying a car. The best way to not have buyer’s remorse is by making sure the car you’re buying is something that you want to have and use.

As long as the car you want to buy is within your budget, then go for it! You might think it’s wise to go for the less expensive option (even if it has less features), but you may be putting yourself on a fast track to regret.

9. Take some time before making a deal

You’ve finally found the car that’s within your budget, has all the features you’re looking for, and is in the make and model you like. Now, it’s time to walk away and cool off for a minute. It might sound counterproductive but it’s an effective way to avoid car buyer’s remorse.

People get caught up in the excitement of a new car purchase that they forget to think things through. Give yourself time to really digest what’s going on. Use this to time think about your optionsand see what deal is best for you.

10. Find the best car loan

If you get a good deal on your car loan, chances are that you’re less likely to feel car buyer’s remorse. The car loan you get will affect your satisfaction with the vehicle overall. Take your time and discuss your financing options with your lender.

Think about whether a low monthly payment with a longer term makes good financial sense for you. Or if it’s better for a higher regular loan repayment but a shorter loan term. Be open with your lender and find an option that suits your needs.

If you’re thinking of financing your new car, check out some of’s loan options.