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How To Buy a Vehicle

Why Buy a Car Rather Than Lease?

The decision on whether to buy or lease a car is dependent on many unique factors that rely on your individual situation, including your vehicle needs and wants. Some of the key factors you should consider when evaluating if purchasing a vehicle is right for you, are: vehicle financing options, cost of ownership, your driving style, and your individual vehicle needs. To help with your decision on whether you should buy or lease a car, check out our Buying vs. Leasing Guide to see a side-by-side comparison of the facts, pros, and cons of each option. You can also continue reading through this page for detailed information on the different factors that impact your decision to buy a vehicle including: the complete car buying process, common financing terms and options, and the cost of ownership of a car, truck, SUV, or crossover.

Why buy a car rather than lease? Let’s look at the benefits of buying a vehicle:

  • The vehicle is completely yours after payments are completed.
  • You have the ability to modify or customize the vehicle as you see fit.
  • You can repair wear and tear as you see fit.
  • When the loan is paid off, you’ll have no car payments to make and can save money.
  • There are no mileage restrictions.
  • You can sell or trade the car whenever you would like to.

Typically someone who buys a vehicle needs more flexibility in mileage, has interest in customizing the vehicle, and may be interested in selling or trading-in the vehicle in the future. Since we understand that purchasing a vehicle is a big decision, we want you to be completely informed before you make your decision. The auto professionals at North Brothers Ford are here to help you through the entire car buying process and can answer any additional questions you may have. We’ve outlined many of the options you have when it comes to buying a vehicle. Additionally, our auto and finance experts have countless years of experience to help you establish a purchase plan that fits your needs and budget, no matter your situation. Let us walk you through the car buying process so you can be confident in your decision to purchase your vehicle from North Brothers Ford.

How to Buy a Vehicle – Step-by-Step Auto Buying Process

How To Buy a Vehicle

Assess Your Vehicle Needs and Driving Style

This first step is particularly important because it helps to determine what type of vehicle you need. Some things to think about when working through this step are: how many miles you drive, how much gas you can afford, how much room/how many seats you need, what’s your budget? It’s even important to consider what type of traffic and climate you typically drive in. Do you travel mainly throughout the city or mainly on the highway? Do you drive in a snowy climate? Do you need all wheel drive? Will you be driving this car for work, or to a work site, daily? Is this vehicle only for personal use or will someone else be driving it, too? All these questions and more will help to prompt answers about your personal auto needs, which will help to determine the type of vehicle you need, i.e. subcompact, small sedan, full-size sedan, crossover, SUV, or truck.

How To Buy a Vehicle

Make a 'Must Have' List of Vehicle Features

There are certain vehicle features that you just might not want to live without, like XM radio, cruise control, leather seats, or fold flat second row seats. Whatever those must-have vehicle features may be, make a list of them! Knowing what features you absolutely need in your car, truck, or SUV will help to determine the type of vehicle and trim level that will meet your needs. Our team of auto professionals is dedicated to helping you get the vehicle you want, at the best price. In many cases, a different trim level or unique vehicle package may achieve your list of needs and wants while only having a slight impact on your monthly payment. Remember, if you’re driving this vehicle daily, you might not want to skip out on some features that truly make a difference in your driving experience.

How To Buy a Vehicle

Explore Our Resources and Vehicle Inventory Online

We value an informed customer, and we want to help you be informed about your options throughout the buying process. Before you step foot in our dealership, take advantage of our online resources related to buying a vehicle. Our financing section will help to better explain what documents you need to be approved for an auto loan and how we can get you the best interest rate. Plus, you can fill out our secure credit application ahead of time online so that you can spend less time at the dealership.

We also have an extensive amount of vehicle information under the New Vehicles section of our website to help you decide what car you want, or what type of Ford vehicle will be right for you based on features, gas mileage, etc. On our Ford Models(link to: page you’ll be able to view all the current Ford vehicle models, and you can also explore the Model Overview page for each where you can view each vehicle’s specific features, fuel efficiency, and available inventory. If you’re thinking about trading a vehicle in, you can take advantage of our Value Your Trade tool.

Or, feel free to browse our New Vehicle Inventory, which is updated daily! Here you can select multiple models or vehicle types for comparison. Once you’ve found a car, truck, or SUV in our inventory that you’re interested in, submit a request to our team at North Brothers Ford and we’ll get the process started for you!

How To Buy a Vehicle

Visit North Brothers Ford in Westland, Michigan

After you’ve evaluated your vehicle needs and wants and have explored the inventory options available at North Brothers Ford, it’s time to stop by the dealership or contact one of our friendly team members. This way we can make the rest of the car buying process simple and efficient for you. If you’ve submitted your request online for a vehicle you’d like to test-drive or buy, we’ll have it ready for you when you arrive at North Brothers! When you visit our Westland dealership it’s your time to test-drive the different vehicles you’re interested in. You can take your time testing out new vehicle features, get to know our team, learn about current incentives, rebates, and offers. You will also be able to explore different payment options, get approved for a loan, and more! At North Brothers we pride ourselves on catering to your individual situation so that we can help you get into the best vehicle for your needs and budget. Feel free to reach out to us online or simple give us a call at (855) 739-2023.

How To Buy a Vehicle

Vehicle Purchase Process at the Dealership

After you’ve been pre-approved for an auto loan and have found the perfect vehicle for your driving habits and needs, you’ll work with one of our wonderful sales representatives to complete the remainder of the car buying process. Here’s what you can expect from our team at North Brothers Ford:

  • Payment Options: You’ll sit down with one of our sales representatives to go over all the payment options available for the vehicle (or vehicles) you’re interested in. This way you can think about which option would work best for you and your budget.
  • Arrange Financing: If you’ve arranged financing through the financial institution of your choice already, you’ll discuss this and finalize the arrangement with the sales representative. If you would prefer the convenience of financing through the dealership, this is the time you will complete the paperwork to finalize the financing.
  • Arrange Delivery: After all of the paperwork is complete, you’ll discuss the delivery of the vehicle, which could occur shortly after you complete the paperwork, or up to a week in advance. Depending on your buying situation, you’ll schedule this time with your sales representative so they can have the vehicle cleaned and ready to go at the time of delivery.
  • Review Your New Car: When it’s time for delivery, you’ll want to review your new car and all of its features with your sales representative. This is the time to walk around and check out the interior to make sure you don’t have any questions about your new car. You can ask your sales representative to show you how certain new technologies or functions work on your car!

Our auto experts and friendly sales representatives want to make your entire car buying experience seamless and transparent! We’re happy to provide this information to you online, but please don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss any part of this process ahead of time to ensure your confidence in buying from North Brothers Ford. Please contact our team with any questions at (855) 739-2023.

Financing Options for Buying a Vehicle

We understand that whether you buy or lease a vehicle, sometimes the financing terms and options seem overwhelming. However, we want to help you feel confident in your purchase decision so we’re here to inform you on the various financing terms you’ll likely hear throughout the car buying process. Understanding this terminology is also important in making sure you fully understand your car loan, the upfront purchase costs, how interest works, and how you’ll be making your monthly payments. Continue reading for some common financing terms you’re likely to hear when purchasing a car, and learn exactly what they mean.

Auto Loan
This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth talking about. There are generally two ways to finance a vehicle: through your bank or through the dealership. Talking to both institutions can be helpful in determining what your monthly payment, interest, and total loan amount would be for the car, truck, or SUV that you want. This allows you to the compare the rates your bank may offer you to the dealership rates, so that you can get the best deal depending on current discounts, incentives, and APR rates. Either way, the bank or the lender through the dealership will be the lien holder that owns the vehicle while you’re still making payments. When the entire loan is paid in full including interest, the lender will issue a release and the vehicle will officially be registered under your name. It’s also important to mention that buying a vehicle outright with full payment down at the point of purchase is an option!

Direct Lending
Direct lending is when you finance a vehicle directly through a credit union, bank, or finance company of your choice. This means you’ll be responsible for paying on your loan (including interest) directly to the bank, and your bank will then be responsible for transferring payment to the dealership. Why would you want to do this? Depending on your relationship with your financial institution, you may be able to acquire a more competitive interest rate at your bank, credit union, or other finance company.

Dealer Financing
Instead of involving a 3rd party and going through the bank for an auto loan, you can go directly through the dealership. With this method, you enter into an agreement with a lender through the dealership. It is to this lender that you will pay back the loan and interest over a specified time. Some car buyers prefer to finance their vehicle this way because of the convenience. It’s also common that the dealership may have special programs or incentives that make financing through the dealership a better deal than financing through the bank.

Credit Score
Your credit score is one of the most important factors when it comes to acquiring an auto loan since it directly affects the loan amount and interest rate available to you. Your credit score is a three-digit number assigned to you based on your credit history, and is used by lenders to determine your ability to pay back a loan. Your credit score can also affect your interest rate. What are some factors that affect your score? Your bill payment history, track record of payments to lenders, how long you’ve had credit, how often you make credit payments, how many credit accounts you have in good standing, credit limits and how you’re using them, hard credit inquiries, and more. Knowing your credit score and how it typically rates – poor, bad, good, or great – can be helpful before making the decision to buy a vehicle. It’s also important to note that having an auto loan and making regular payments is a great way to establish credit.

No matter your current credit score or rating, the finance experts at North Brothers Ford are experienced in acquiring auto loans and affordable financing for all credit levels. If you’re worried about poor credit or not having credit, we can help you!

APR (Annual Percentage Rate)
APR, Annual Percentage Rate, is the interest you’ll pay annually on your total loan amount when your buy your vehicle. The higher the APR, the higher your monthly payment will be. Be aware that some companies are allowed to advertise annual percentage rates on a monthly basis, which means the advertised rate is only 1/12th of the full APR. Your APR can be influenced by a few factors including: your credit score, time frame of the loan, dealer incentives, and your debt-to income ratio.

There are many different options for warranties on all parts of your car, truck, SUV, or crossover. Many times when purchasing a new car, a warranty will be included based on miles driven or length of ownership. However, depending on how long you plan on owning the vehicle, this initial warranty may not cover your needs down the road. It’s also important to understand that as your vehicle ages years after purchase, it may require more maintenance to keep it performing safely. Common extended warranties include those covering your vehicle’s powertrain, transmission, bumper-to-bumper on defect factory-installed parts, tires, roadside assistance, and more. Purchasing an extended warranty is not required, however depending on your needs it can save you money in the long run. Plus, while an extended warranty is an additional cost, when you add it to your initial purchase, it will minimally affect your monthly payment – sometimes by only pennies!

GAP Insurance
Guaranteed Auto Protection, or GAP insurance, is optional when you purchase a vehicle and it covers the difference between the amount you owe on the vehicle and the vehicle’s current market value in the event of an accident. When you purchase a vehicle, it will depreciate in value after use, which means it can be worth less than the remaining amount you owe on the vehicle. In the event of an accident, you may find that you owe more on the vehicle than the vehicle is actually worth, so GAP insurance would cover that difference in value. This helps to prevent you from getting into a scary financial situation in the event of an accident.

At North Brothers Ford it’s our goal to provide you with a transparent car buying experience. We are here to help you understand the car buying process step-by-step, and to help you find a solution for your specific needs. If you have any questions regarding your vehicle financing options, or how these terms might apply to you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (855) 739-2023.

Cost of Owning a Vehicle

We’ve covered some common vehicle financing terms that affect the cost of owning a vehicle already, however there are also many other aspects to consider before making your final purchase decision. To understand what a vehicle may cost you in the short and long term, it’s important to perform a true evaluation of your finances in addition to the cost of ownership. Keep reading to review some points of consideration:

  • Insurance: Depending on what type of vehicle you choose, it could impact your insurance rate in a positive or negative way compared to the vehicle you’re currently driving. Contact your insurance company to receive rate estimates for any of the vehicles you’re interested in purchasing. This will help you choose a vehicle that is truly right for you and your budget.

  • Fuel Efficiency: When you purchase a vehicle you’ll likely be driving it for a few years, if not more. Making sure you can support its fuel needs is an important factor to consider. Gas prices are always changing, so it’s important to consider the number of miles you drive per week or month, the vehicle’s fuel economy, and the impact on your budget at various gas prices. For instance: you might want an SUV for the extra room or four wheel drive, but if you have a long drive to work, can you comfortably afford the gas expense if gas prices were to rise?

  • Tires: Your vehicle’s tires are a component that will need to be replaced throughout the life of your vehicle. When will you have to replace them? It will depend on how many miles you drive, routine maintenance, and the tread wear. It’s important to consider the cost of tires so that when it’s time to replace your tires, you are not caught off guard. Typically, larger tires will cost more than smaller tires. Another thing to consider is the availability of tires. Unique tire sizes can be difficult to find and may be more costly.

  • Brakes: Another crucial components of your vehicle that requires routine maintenance and will need to be replaced throughout your vehicle’s lifetime, are the brakes. Your driving style, how often you use them, and what type of traffic you typically drive in, all affect the way your brakes wear and how often you’ll need to replace them.

  • Overall Maintenance: Consider the service and maintenance your car may require over the next 6 months, one year, 5 years and so on. While newer vehicles typically just require simple routine maintenance, as your vehicle ages it may need additional service. Making sure you’re able to cover these costs when buying a car is important.

  • New or Used: When you buy a new or used car, to keep the car running optimally, you will need to perform routine maintenance. Keeping up with routine maintenance is the easiest way to extend the life of your car regardless of its new or used status at the time of purchase. Making sure you understand the milestone maintenance tasks you’ll need to complete in the future, should definitely be a consideration when making a decision whether to buy new or used. Purchasing a used car with many miles may require much more maintenance to keep it running well, whereas buying a new car will at first require only routine maintenance, like oil changes and tire rotations, for the first 2-3 years of ownership. Keep in mind, North Brothers Ford offers extended warranties on various vehicle components! If you’re thinking of buying used, Certified Pre-Owned vehicles are also a great option because of the warranty, roadside assistance, and pre-certification extensive vehicle inspection.

Schedule a Test Drive at North Brothers Ford in Westland, MI

Deciding to buy a vehicle is a big investment and we want to help you be as informed as possible throughout the entire purchase process. If you’ve made the decision to buy a car, we want to help you find the perfect vehicle for your needs, wants, and budget. Let us arrange a no obligation test-drive for you so that you can experience the vehicle you’re interested in hands-on. North Brothers Ford is here to provide you with a caring and transparent dealership experience. For your convenience, you can schedule your test drive online, or give us a call at (855) 739-2023. We’re happy to serve our neighbors in Westland, Northville, Novi, South Lyon, New Hudson, Milford, and beyond.

North Brothers Ford

33300 Ford Rd.
Westland, MI 48185 734-928-2108
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Sales Hours

Mon & Thurs
8:30am - 9pm
Tues, Wed, Fri
8:30am - 6pm
9:00am - 3:00pm

Service Hours

Mon & Thurs
7am - 8pm
Tues & Wed
7am - 6pm
7am - 7pm
9am - 3pm

Collision Hours

Mon & Thurs
7:30am - 8pm
Tues, Wed, Fri
7:30am - 6pm
9am - 3pm
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