Besides buying a house, purchasing a car is likely the most expensive personal expense. So, it’s important to make the right choice. But what’s the best way to make the best choice?
Questions can vary greatly. How much can I afford? What’s the best car for family travel or for long journeys? What’s the best value or most dependable brand?
If you’re partial to certain manufacturers you right asked where is Jeep made? Are hybrids or electric cars good choices? Is a sedan a better option than an SUV?
Determining what car will serve your needs best can be daunting, so here are some guidelines:
Review Your Budget
Before you start test-driving vehicles and researching the latest technologies and models, you should determine several monetary areas: Are you going to finance the car? If so, what’s the best available interest rate? Will you contribute a percentage of your savings toward the purchase? What are your overall budget and monthly budget?
To determine your budget, examine your recent bank statements to help determine what amount you can afford to spend on a vehicle. Additionally, owning a vehicle is more than just the purchase price. It also requires maintenance, fuels and insurance.
Some vehicles require the most costly premium fuel and also have expensive repair parts costs. Further, owning a car requires paying sales tax, registration fees and dealership fees and potential other add-ons like an extended warranty.
Identify Your Needs and Wants
Once you’ve determined how much you can spend on your new car, you need to assess what type of vehicle is the most appropriate for your lifestyle. A single person may have vastly different needs in a vehicle than a family of five.
Test-driving a two-seater sports car isn’t a good approach if you’re buying a vehicle for family use. And purchasing a car with poor fuel economy isn’t wise is the vehicle will be used for commuting.
Buying a new car takes planning
Make a list of your essential car qualities — vehicle size to safety features to fuel economy. And what are some unnecessary options for a new vehicle? A new technology feature may be desirable but not necessary.
Consider a “need” checklist first: How many seats do you need? Do you need extra seating on an Adhoc basis? Do you regularly travel long distances? Do you need a car that is compatible with a roof rack, tow bar, or bike carrier?
Will you be towing anything? If so, what weight do you need the car to be able to pull? Isofix points for care seats. Do you need an automatic or manual transmission?
And also consider a “want” checklist: You may fancy a panoramic sunroof, a Bose sound system, or a fluorescent paint, but they aren’t necessarily a ‘need’, they are more of a want. These are “compromise” items.
Consider the options list: Satnav, Bose sound system, Aux port, Alloy wheels, Bluetooth, handsfree, certain colors, extra trims, heated seats and a different engine.
Research Best Models, Brands
After determining your needs, consider the make and model of a vehicle that best suits your needs. Consider online listings, blogs. Consider average lifespan, quality of the reviews, average as well as various ownership costs. What are the vehicle’s safety ratings?
While online research may be preferred, visiting several dealerships where experts are available is also wise. Make sure to test drive any vehicle prior to its purchase. Key considerations are comfort, handling and acceleration. Ask questions about the make and model of the car as well as its history.
Make sure you always consider ongoing costs. Consider the car’s resale value and the value of the vehicle you’re trading in for a new vehicle. Make certain of the potential new car’s ongoing costs, insurance to fuel to repairs.
Finally, if you have a good credit score and you’re financing a vehicle, you’ll get a better interest rate. It’s another key area to consider to determine the right car to purchase.