Buying a new car can be an exciting but overwhelming process. It could be that you are a first-time buyer or you are just utterly spoilt for choice.
But worry not, because this roadmap is designed to ease the pressure on the whole buying process. Ensure you follow this buyer’s guide when shopping for a new automobile.
The Ultimate Guide When Shopping For a Car
1. Let Your Needs (And Not Wants) Drive Your Decision
Quite often, buyers at car dealerships find themselves spending on car features that they might not end up using. When asking yourself the “What kind of car should I buy?” question, it is highly advisable to be practical and realistic.
Do not let the dealer convince you into thinking that you will need a “cool” feature when you know very well that you don’t need it. For example, why would you need a four-wheel off-road capability when you mostly use your car to get to work in the city?
While the dealer might encourage you to buy a car that can thrive in every possible situation, it is essential to keep in mind that you are the only person who best understands your car needs.
Therefore, before purchasing a car, think of every single car feature and evaluate whether its worth the extra cost.
2. Complete the “What Car Should I Buy Quiz”
Before purchasing a new car, complete the following car quiz:
- What is the best car for me in terms of model and brand?
- What is my main priority in a car? The most important considerations include price, fuel efficiency, safety, appearance, off-roading ability, power, and capacity.
- What type of trips will I be using this car for? And how long are they?
- What safety features do I need in my car?
- How many people will I be riding with on a regular basis?
- What car is right for me in terms of style and comfort?
- What did I use my last car mostly for?
- Will the car I am considering to buy fit in my garage?
By the time you are done answering these questions, you will have a few car models in mind. However, before you commit to buying any of them, take a look around the showroom and identify all the cars with similar features compare the prices.
Do not assume that one make or model is superior to the rest – a car may perform brilliantly on one feature but poorly on another. Despite what manufacturers say, it’s quite difficult to find a car that offers all-round performance.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to read expert reviews and performance tests about a particular model before making that crucial decision.
3. Mind Your Pocket
As you do your research, stay true to yourself and focus on brands and models that you can actually afford. Have a budget before starting your shopping.
If the car you are considering to buy will stretch your finances, focus on finding an alternative option that best suits your budget and needs. Nonetheless, be sure to get value for your money.
Assuming you are not opting for cash payment, it is recommended to keep the payment below 20% of your net monthly earnings. It is important to note that lenders often demand a down payment of 10-20% when granting new car loans.
Also, do not forget to factor in car insurance, sales tax, and registration costs in your car budget.
4. Think of the Long-Term Costs
Looking at the price tag of the car is essential, but an even more important consideration is its maintenance costs.
It is, therefore, advisable to always look at the bigger picture when choosing a new vehicle. Some of the factors you can consider are gas mileage, maintenance costs, and auto insurance.
A particular car might seem cheaper on the price tag, but it could be super expensive in the long run. It could be that it depreciates at a faster rate, or maybe it just costs more to insure. As such, you need to be cautious not to fall into this trap.
Make use of online calculators to estimate the total cost of owning a particular car. This will give you a rough idea of how much it will cost you to maintain your car for a specified period.
Arm Yourself With These 4 Effective Tips When Buying a Car
This guide might not recommend a specific car since personal preferences, financial capability, and other variables are bound to dictate your choice of car. However, observing these tips will see you purchase the best possible automobile that will suit your needs.