— -- Low gas prices have meant an uptick in car sales but not every new owner is driving around feeling good about their new ride.
According to Autodata Corp., a record 17.4 million new cars and trucks were sold last year. And a 2014 survey released by AutoTrader found that about 70 percent of new-car owners drive off the lot suffering a bit of buyer's remorse.
Tamara Warren, senior transportation writer for the Verge, shared the following tips to help potential buyers avoid common mistakes:
1. Avoid being unprepared. Experts said you should narrow your choice of vehicle to one or two models. You should also know the features you want so you can avoid being talked into buying things you don't need. And by the way, shop around.
"It's doing the physical research, getting out there visiting different dealers, test-driving the cars, asking if you can have an extended test drive," Warren said.
2. Avoid focusing on a low monthly payment. A low monthly payment might sound good but in order to get it, you might need a longer loan with a higher interest rate. That could cost you thousands more in the long run. Experts suggest negotiating for the lowest price possible instead.
"You have to empower yourself to be a smart shopper," Warren said.
3. Avoid buying new. A new car depreciates by about 11 percent as soon as you drive it off the lot. Experts say: consider buying used. Experts also say buy a car in a bright or an unusual color. They say those cars tend to be cheaper and hold their value longer than more popular choices like gray or silver.