Buying a car is a big investment. Sure, a car is not as expensive as a house but it will cost you a few thousands of dollars at least and will have an impact your finances. That said, you should choose carefully. You can’t just buy a particular car because it caught your attention in the showroom. Your decision should be based on several factors, not solely on the appeal of the vehicle.
Assess Your Needs
First of all, you need to find out what your needs are. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it because you need it to get to and from your office?
- Do you have kids? If so, will you be driving them to school?
- How far is your office/school from your home?
- What safety features are you looking for in a vehicle?
- Where do you live? Will you often drive in snow and ice? Do you often drive in highways or offroads?
- How much parking space do you have at home?
Set a Budget
It’s easy to be swayed by aggressive auto salesmen trying to sell you their most expensive cars. They can tell you all sorts of stuff about why you should choose the brand spanking new BMW 6 series when in fact the 2015 Hyundai Genesis will suit your needs just fine.
Sometimes it’s hard to make a sensible decision when you’re distracted by all the glitter that you see in an auto dealership. However, when you have a budget to work with, it’s easier to make the right choice. This is especially true if you have already determined what kind of car you’re looking for in terms of passenger capacity, fuel efficiency, type of car and safety features.
New vs. Used
Depending on your budget, you may also consider buying a used car. Contrary to popular belief, there are a lot of good buys in used car dealerships – you just need to invest a bit of time looking around. Consider the trade offs with each option. When you buy a new car, you may be limited to just a few options if you have a small budget. If you buy a used car, you can get a more expensive model because used cars are cheaper than when you buy them new. On the other hand, with a used car, you get a shorter warranty and the interest rates for financing are usually higher.
Total Cost of Ownership
The price of the car is NOT the total cost of ownership. You can check websites like Edmunds.com to get an estimate of the costs, including the insurance cost, fuel consumption, and car maintenance and repairs. In addition, if you’re getting financing for your vehicle, you have to compare the interest rates offered by different lenders. Make sure you get the lowest interest rate because that could mean hundreds of dollars saved in a year.
Now that you know how to choose the right car for you, it’s time to begin your search. Good luck!