Buying a car can be an overwhelming experience, whether it’s your first time or your tenth. There are tons of factors to consider and thousands of different cars to choose from – you don’t want to mess this up! With so many options out there, the good news is you are sure to find a car that fits perfectly with your lifestyle simply by asking yourself a few easy questions.
The first question you’re going to want to ask yourself is this: What is the main purpose for my new car? Are you primarily going to be commuting? Do you need to fit bikes, camping gear, or pets inside? What about kids? Are you taking it off-road? Will you need to drive in the snow? Answering these questions will drastically help you narrow down your search. If you’re constantly hauling around sports equipment or musical instruments, you’re probably going to want to look at SUV’s or hatchbacks. If you live somewhere where driving in the snow is common, check out trucks or all wheel drive vehicles. If most of your driving is to and from work, a fuel efficient, compact, and reliable commuter car is more up your alley.
Once you narrow down the kind of car you want to be driving, the rest of your decision making process becomes a lot simpler. The next big factor you’ll want to consider is your budget. If you’re really pinching pennies, buying a certified-pre-owned car is a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck. Most cars drop significantly in price in the first few years. Buying a 2-3 year old car is often an easy way to save a few thousand dollars without sacrificing quality and reliability. Most dealerships even offer warranties on their used car sales. If you have the budget, however, having the opportunity to choose exactly the make, model, color, and custom options can be worth the price.
After you narrow down what type of vehicle and your budget, head to a car dealer. Take a look around, take a couple of test drives and speak with the salesman about price and warranty. It doesn’t hurt to see what their in car loan rates are but often times you can find better rates at a bank or credit union. Compare rates and go with the one that works best for you. You don’t have to purchase a car the first day you go out looking. Do plenty of research and comparison shopping before you make a decision and get a loan.
If even after reading this you are still feeling in over your head, don’t worry! Buying a new car takes time and patience. You can always go visit your local dealerships, test drive cars, ask multiple agents for advice – all with no obligation of making a purchase. The big thing to remember is that you are in charge. Happy car shopping!