Finally, buying your very own ride? This is a moment of joy and excitement for anyone who’s getting their first car. Cars have become a necessity today because public transport isn’t that great of an experience.
If you’re buying a new car or haven’t made such a purchase in a while now, it can be confusing to know where to start. The main question every car buyer has is, “how do I find a car that will meet my needs in the many years to come?”
To be honest, all it requires is a little planning and research. When you’re certain of the kind of car you want, you can then decide if you want to lease a car, buy a used car, or buy a brand new car.
Let’s look at some things that you should consider in order to find the best car!
Identify Your Needs
Any individual purchasing a car has a different set of needs. You might need a car because of the distance between your house and university, or you want to cut down on commute time to work, or you have kids at home who need to be dropped to school, or you just want a change.
Choosing the best car ultimately depends on what you expect out of it and what is your situation. There are many people who only want to make a statement with their new car, hence a more eye-catching color or wheels make a difference.
No matter what your intention is, here are some practical questions you should ask yourself before making a decision:
- How many people are you going to fit in the car?
- Do you have a short or a long commute, hence is fuel economy vital to you?
- What are the must-have features? Such as leather seats, backup cameras, among others.
- Will you need children’s car seats?
- How much cargo capacity do you require?
These are some of the major questions you should ask yourself when purchasing a car.
Decide on Your Budget
Budget is the next important thing that all car buyers need to have in mind when thinking of buying a car. Unless you’re going to pay in cash for your car, you have to think about how you’re going to finance your lease or purchase.
Basically, how much can you allocate each month towards a car payment? The general rule is that a monthly new car payment should not be more than 15% of one’s monthly take-home salary.
Of course, a used car’s monthly payment is less, but you should apply the same 15% rule for this scenario too. Don’t forget to factor in additional monthly costs over your car’s insurance and fuel.
Knowing your budget will help you negotiate the price of the car you’re thinking of buying. If you’re unsure how to go about it, use any affordability calculator online and you’ll find all vehicles fall under your budget. If you have subscribed to a cheap and fiber internet service, now is the time to put it into use.
Do You Want to Lease or Buy?
Leasing and buying a car both come with pros and cons. In fact, how you feel about both of these options might help guide your decision on what’s the better route for you.
For example, leasing a car requires no or little money and also offers lower per month payments. However, once the lease ends, you’ll have no car and will eventually need to purchase one again.
On the other hand, it’s initially more expensive to buy a car, not forgetting how high the monthly payments will be. But, once you’ve paid off the loan, that particular car will be yours and you can use it for as long as it runs or as long as you want.
Hence, understanding the pros and cons of both leasing and buying a car will also help you in sticking to your budget.
Look Out For Cars for Sale
The traditional method of shopping for a car is visiting car dealerships in person to check out their inventory and finding out if the specific car you were considering has all the options and features you want.
You can always utilize an inventory tool and put in the distance at which you want to purchase the car. Once you’re all set to lease or buy a car, get a few offers because prices might vary from one dealership to another.
You’ll usually get a response from a dealership either through email or phone call as soon as you’ve requested a special offer. Now would be the time to verify if the car you want is still in stock and then schedule for a test drive.
Don’t be hesitant to ask any other questions and contact a dealership once you’ve made your decision.
What to Look for in a Test Drive?
A car may have all the features you want, but you’ll truly understand this when you’re in the driver’s seat. Test drive a car the way you’re going to drive in your everyday life. Do be mindful to enter and exit a car a few times and also sit in the back seat.
When you’re evaluating a car, try not to get distracted. Take a good amount of time to look over everything. Also, remember to turn the stereo off so you can listen to the sound coming from the engine.
Pick Your Car
After test driving several cars, your choice ought to be crystal clear. If you’re still uncertain, sleep on it. You may have your answer the next morning. However, if that still isn’t the case, don’t rush your decision as you might regret it later on.
While making the right decision, it’s also good to understand that there’s no perfect answer. Your final decision depends on your individual taste.
Time to make a Decision
Once you’ve thoroughly researched all of the aspects mentioned above, and if you’re confident that you’ve finally found the right car, it’s time to become a car owner!