Cars are an extension of your personality as well as a long-time travel companion. However, buying a car is considerably less fun than driving one. Not only do you have to pay a hefty amount for the initial purchase, but also consider the additional expenses such as fuel and insurance once you bring it home. This is why it is essential to put in the effort before you make this considerable financial decision.
To get you started on your dream car research, we have compiled a few tried and tested tips to make the journey easier.
Assess Your Needs
You will need to assess many aspects before you can find the right car for you. Some owners often tend to make a statement with their cars, whether in terms of horsepower or the unique look of the car, while others stick to the practicality of it. Here are some considerations to keep in mind before you choose one.
What Kind of Car Do You Want?
Your personal preference and needs will significantly influence your final choice for a car. You will need to prioritize which aspect of the car you wish to have, be it style or comfort, and determine which ones you are willing to compromise. With so many types of cars to choose from, there is bound to be one that ticks all your boxes!
Who/What You Carry
Do you plan to use your car to commute alone or carry multiple passengers? For instance, a large SUV is an ideal choice if you have a large family with kids that requires you to spend weekdays shuttling them. On the other hand, if you use a sedan to carry clients, you want to check for comfortable back seats.
Where You Live
Finding a car that will be ideal for every situation is difficult. Smaller sedans are best for navigating the urban jungle and easy parking but are unfit for driving snowy mountains. Similarly, driving a sports car on ice is not fun. Instead, a four-wheeler SUV is a better option for unfavorable terrain.
What You Do (and What You Want To Do)
You likely want a car suitable for weekday commutes and weekend getaways. Occasionally, upgrading your regular car with better parts like large wheels or paddle shifters can make compromises.
For example, if you shuttle kids during the week and spend the weekends on camping or skiing trips, then a minivan or all-wheel with a rooftop cargo box to carry all camping equipment is a perfect choice.
The style and look of the car may be the final deciding factor for your car pick. Cars are a long-time investment; that’s why looks matter when it comes to your travel buddy. For example, sedans and hatchbacks serve similarly in space and dimensions; however, a sleeker sedan is likely to be the more attractive of the two.
What type of driver are you?
Another closely related factor to aesthetics is a driving style that plays a vital role in your car selection. A coupe or a convertible is a better pick for driver-focused people, whereas a sedan or hatchback is for families and drivers.
If you have the cash to spare and want to drive in style, then a sports car is your ideal option. Additionally, more experienced drivers or those in less populated areas prefer larger vehicles like pickup trucks or SUVs.
Set Your Budget
Perhaps the ultimate factor boils down to costs. Remember that car expenses will be more than just your monthly installments. Fuel, registration, maintenance, and insurance costs must also be calculated into your budget before you sign the papers.
The general rule for your monthly payment shouldn’t exceed 15 % of your take-home pay in case of purchased cars and 10 % for leased cars. You should also be well-informed about the car market to get better deals.
Furthermore, there are many ways to save costs, such as buying used cars or leasing cars. You can also think about saving costs in the long run by purchasing electric cars to save you fuel costs and be environmentally sustainable.
Decide If You Want to Lease or Buy
Both cases have plenty of pros and cons, and you need to find the right balance to find out which option works best for you.
One of the biggest advantages of leasing cars is saving costs. With repairs covered by a factory warranty and driving with the latest tech every few years, leasing cars may seem ideal.
On the contrary, a car, once bought, is an asset that can be sold at any convenient time after paying off the installments. You will also be able to add upgrades as you like and not worry about any mileage penalties if you go over the limit.
Set Up a Test Drive
Once you have picked your dream car, it is time to test it before you sign the papers. Contact the dealership’s internet salespeople to schedule a time and day for the test drive. It is best to test drive at least three vehicles back-to-back to compare better.
The real test for your car starts once you take the driver’s seat. When you go on a test drive, drive at highway speeds and slow traffic. Be sure to take tight corners, test brakes (safely), and drive over bumps and steep terrains to test your car’s endurance and limits.
Moreover, remember to sit in the back seats if you plan to carry passengers. Additionally, gauge the cargo space and bring any child seats to check the ease of installation in the new car.
Finally, always take your time during the test drive and inspection of a car. You will be paying good money for it and hopefully use it for a considerable time period. Furthermore, a car with good features will also fetch a higher resale value. Therefore, keep these factors in mind when making a selection.
Pick Your Car
If you have finally made a pick, great! If not, then test drive more cars or browse for more options. Spending more time buying cars is always better than regretting a wrong choice down the road.
Whether you pick a convertible, sedan, or pick-up truck, there is an option available that caters to each driver’s needs. Your final pick is a matter of your personal preference so remember that there is no need to rush.
Proper planning and careful observation while weighing the pros and cons will help you narrow down your ideal car choices for your purpose and tastes. Be sure to keep note of the pointers discussed here to help you make a purchase that will benefit you for years to come.