Buying a car is a tedious process


Jonathan Borowicz has been without a car his first year at NIU. Next year, his vehicle status will change.

“My dad bought a BMW, and he’s selling his old car to me,” said Borowicz, a freshman pre-computer science major.

Many NIU students have to rely on new and used car dealers in order to search for their perfect four-wheeled companions. Although the idea of buying a car can be overwhelming, anyone can be a knowledgeable customer after a little research.

Brian Bohman, sales manager at Brian Bemis Ford, 1380 DeKalb Ave. in Sycamore, said choosing between a new or used car depends on the person’s situation.

“If you are looking for transportation on a limited budget there are some great deals on pre-driven cars,” Bohman said. “However, if you buy a new car you get full factory warranty [and a car] that no one has driven and best of all, that new car smell.”

Researching about different kinds of cars is also important, Bohman said.

“There is a ton of information online about different vehicles,” Bohman said. “Compare features, prices, reliability and get an idea of what your payments will be. Finally, have a budget and know what you can afford.”

Because they are not new, used cars need extra attention. Tim Jennings, Internet sales manager at Tom Sparks Buick, 216 S. First St., said there are two main questions to ask dealers when looking for a used car.

“[Ask] where did this car come from [and] has this car ever been in an accident?” Jennings said. “The answers to these questions can be found at several informational sites, the largest being Carfax Vehicle History Report.”

Jennings stressed the importance of making sure the cost of owning a car is worthwhile.

“Figure out cost of ownership for the first year of the vehicle you’re going to purchase and weigh that against the value of owning your own vehicle,” Jennings said. “[Some hidden costs] include fees and registration, insurance, fuel and possible repairs and breakdowns.”

For people like Borowicz, the freedom of having a car to go anywhere at any time outweighs its cost.

“I don’t know if I’ll be going home more, but I’ll pick up more chicks,” Borowicz said.