As long as you don't finance the car through the dealership, you are a cash buyer. Buying a car with cash can take a short time as long as you come prepared. You can get in and out of a dealership in as little as one hour if you consider price or business negotiation. The most common reasons for buying cash include avoiding financing charges and gaining strong bargaining leverage on the price of the vehicle.
However, there are also compelling reasons to finance the car. These include withholding your cash and being able to exchange it for a better vehicle. Alternatively, if you know that you need a specific type or size of vehicle to meet your needs, you can go for the option that helps you find the right car. If you think the person rants in an online video or leaves a negative review on a car buying service, it may take you all weekend to buy a car.
Depending on how much money you have in your savings, paying cash for a car could drain your savings account and you may not be prepared to handle an emergency. The best estimates, which are only based on averages, is that if you haven't completed any of the steps when you arrive at the dealership, you can expect to spend between 5 and 6 hours buying a new car. Even if you buy a used car from a private seller, your best option will be to buy the newest model you can afford with the least amount of miles. A cash buyer will simply pay the cost of the car up front and won't have to deal with getting financing or paying interest.
If you don't have a proper emergency fund after disbursing cash for a car, you should look for something cheaper, save longer, or finance instead of paying cash. When most people buy a vehicle, they do so with an auto loan and make monthly payments after making a down payment at the dealership. This can add up quickly and you'll end up paying a lot more in total interest on the car in the long run. Things like sales tax, car insurance, and fees will add up quickly, and if you pay cash, you'll need to consider these things.
When I think of Carmax's 5-day money-back guarantee, I might consider it a kind of 5-day test drive. While you won't have options like leather interiors or more powerful engines, an entry-level car will be much more affordable. If the car you are thinking of buying is not as much in demand as other models, this can give you even more advantage. If building good credit is important to you, a small car loan with a short loan term can increase your credit.
Understanding everything that goes into paying cash for a car can help you be prepared when the time comes and get the best possible deal on your new vehicle. If you have to pay interest, this means you'll end up owing more for the car than it's worth very quickly.