A new car is really exciting: you can get more features than you had in your old car; you can pick a different make and model; and you might even be able to get something a little fancier than the one you currently have. There’s so much to consider when getting a new car, and you might be a little overwhelmed with where to start. But before you get caught up in all various features, there are a few basic things you need to consider first.
1. What kind of car do you want, or need?
Most of us have that ideal vehicle we’d purchase if money was unlimited, and it was a just for fun kind of car but realistically we need a vehicle that will suit our everyday needs. Do you have children you’re driving to school and practice constantly? Do you need a lot of cargo space because you take a lot of things with you? The first step is determining what kind of vehicle will suit your needs, and maybe some of the features you want to have in your new car.
2. What’s the Budget?
If you’re financing or leasing, your new car then you’ll need to determine what kind of payments you can afford. If you’re planning to purchase your car outright, then the amount of cash you can put forth will determine your budget.
3. New or Used?
This item may be determined by how big, or small, your budget is. If you have some wiggle room, or a bigger budget, you may want to look at a few different options. A new car comes with warranties and the promise that you’re the first person to drive the vehicle so you know its history. A used car may have had some work done on it; may have been in an accident; or the previous owner may not have kept up with scheduled maintenance.
4. Future Maintenance
In addition to your monthly payment (if you’re not paying cash) you’ll also need to figure out how much this car is likely to cost you in maintenance. Asking the dealership about the price of oil changes, brakes and other maintenance items can help you figure out how much you should budget for this car. If you can afford the car, but the maintenance it requires is really pricey that might make you think twice about the car.
5. Online Reviews
There is no review quite like another consumer who has purchased the same type of car. There may be positive and negative reviews about this particular car, but read them all. Taking into consideration both the good and bad experiences others have had may help you determine if this car is the right fit for you.
No matter what kind of car you’re looking to buy, doing your research can help you to determine if you’re making the right decision to fit your life, your budget and your needs.