When it’s time to buy a car, you want to make sure that you are going to love driving it every single day. Whether you’re getting a new vehicle for your business or just want something fun for yourself and your family, there’s plenty of research involved before making such an important purchase.
Assess your needs.
The first thing you’ll need to do is assess your needs and wants. What do you want to use the car for? Do you plan on driving long distances, or will it just be a short commute to work and back? What kind of budget do you have set aside for the your next new or used car?
Make a list of your favorite features.
Once you’ve established a budget and a price range, it’s time to get specific. Make a list of the features that are important to you in any car that you consider buying.
- I want heated seats because I live in a cold climate
- I want cruise control because I have long commutes.
- I prefer manual transmission because it provides more control over acceleration and braking speeds, which helps with gas mileage and reduces the overall cost of a car.
- A Sunroof would be nice to catch some rays.
New or Used, An important question
When it comes to buying a car, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is whether to go with a new or used model. Both options have their own set of pros and cons, and the best choice for you will depend on your individual needs and circumstances. Here’s a look at some of the key considerations to keep in mind when deciding between a new and used car:
Pros of buying a new car:
- New cars come with the latest technology and safety features.
- They generally have a longer lifespan and lower maintenance costs compared to older models.
- New cars typically come with a warranty, providing peace of mind and protection against costly repairs.
Cons of buying a new car:
- New cars tend to be more expensive than used ones.
- They depreciate in value quickly, meaning you’ll likely lose money on the vehicle over time.
- Some people may be unable to afford the upfront cost of a new car, or may not want to take on the added financial burden of a loan or lease.
Pros of buying a used car:
- Used cars are typically cheaper than new ones, meaning you’ll likely pay less upfront and may have lower monthly payments.
- They’ve already undergone their biggest depreciation, so you won’t lose as much money on the vehicle over time.
- There’s a wider range of used cars available, giving you more options to choose from.
Cons of buying a used car:
- Used cars may have more wear and tear and may require more frequent repairs.
- They may not have the latest technology and safety features.
- Used cars generally don’t come with a warranty, leaving you on the hook for any repairs that may be needed.
Ultimately, whether to buy a new or used car comes down to your personal preferences and financial situation. If you have the budget and want the latest and greatest features, a new car may be the way to go. But if you’re looking to save money and are willing to trade off some of the perks of a new car, a used model may be the better choice. Tip: If you are buying a car from a private seller, do not purchase unless they are willing to run a Carfax report detailing any repairs ( Including body damage ), A legitimate seller should always have this report ready to show and if they are not willing to do so…. run!
Set a realistic budget.
You need to set a realistic budget. This means that you should know what the car will cost, and how much money you have available. You should also consider your income and expenses, as well as taxes and insurance costs. General rule of thumb is do not spend more than 20% of your NET monthly budget on your monthly payment.
Here are some examples of things that can eat into your budget:
- Gasoline: Some people don’t realize how much gasoline actually costs until they start driving more than a couple of times per week. The average American spends about $1,000 per year on gas for their car! That’s about $238 each month—which is almost as much as my entire monthly rent! If you’re going to be driving frequently, make sure that this expense won’t break your bank account and consider a more fuel efficient model.
- Insurance: Another way car ownership takes its toll on one’s finances is by inflating insurance premiums—and most people don’t have any control over these rates because they’re determined by factors like the type of vehicle being insured and how many miles it’s driven per year If you drive an expensive sports car or truck with a lot of horsepower under its hood. Insurance companies also look at your driving record to determine their risk. Before buying a car, it’s a good idea to check with an auto insurance company before buying so you don’t get an unexpected surprise you were not planning on that takes the purchase out of budget.
Research And Get Online Quotes Before Walking Into The Dealer
Know the true value of a car. These resources can be helpful when you’re considering the purchase of a new or used vehicle, or when you’re trying to determine the value of your current car.
Here are a few popular websites that offer car value information and research tools:
- Kelley Blue Book: This well-known website allows you to search for the value of a specific car based on its make, model, and year. It also provides information on current market trends and pricing for new and used vehicles.
- NADAguides: Similar to Kelley Blue Book, NADAguides allows you to search for car values based on various criteria, including make, model, and year. It also offers information on car financing and trade-in values.
- Edmunds: In addition to providing car values, Edmunds offers a variety of tools and resources for car buyers and sellers, including information on financing, trade-ins, and car reviews.
- Use FindMyCar.com to get quotes for a new or used car from your local dealers.
By using these websites and their various tools and resources, you can get a better understanding of a car’s value and make more informed decisions about your car-buying or selling process.
Get Pre-Approved With Your Financing
If you’re planning to finance your new car through a lender, it’s a good idea to get preapproved for a loan. This will give you an idea of your personalized rates and allow you to compare your options from various lenders, including traditional banks and credit unions, as well as online lenders. You may be able to qualify for discounts if you already have a bank account with the lender you choose.
It’s important to note that dealerships often offer in-house financing as well, which may be easier to qualify for if you have poor credit. If you bring a preapproval letter from another lender to the dealership, the dealer may be willing to negotiate a better deal with the lender they are partnered with. It’s a good idea to compare the preapproved terms you received with any offers the dealership may make to determine the best deal for you. Just keep in mind that a soft credit check is usually required to get preapproved, but it won’t impact your credit score.
Consider certified pre-owned vehicles.
- Certified pre-owned vehicles are another great option to consider. These cars have been thoroughly inspected by an independent third party and come with a warranty, which means you won’t need to worry about costly repairs in the near future. They’re also more affordable than buying new, since you’re not paying for all that extra depreciation that happens when a car sits on the lot for months before it sells.
Take it for a test drive.
When considering the purchase of a new car, it’s important to take a test drive before making a final decision. A test drive allows you to get a feel for the car and its features, as well as any potential issues it may have.
Here are a few things to consider when taking a test drive:
- Plan ahead: Make sure you have a valid driver’s license and insurance, and that you’ve made arrangements with the dealership or seller to take the car for a spin.
- Know what you’re looking for: Think about what features and characteristics are important to you in a car, and make sure to test them out during the drive. This could include acceleration, braking, handling, comfort, and more.
- Pay attention to the details: Take note of any strange noises or issues that arise during the drive, as well as the overall condition of the car.
- How does the car feel? Can you see the road well and feel like you are sitting high enough? Look around and check the overall visabilty especially when backing up. Some cars have blind spots that make it very annoying especially while backing up and that can make things harder each time you back into a parking space. You should feel like there is good visabilty from all sides of the vehicle.
- Bring a friend: It’s always a good idea to have someone else with you on the test drive, both for safety and for an extra set of eyes and ears to help evaluate the car.
Overall, a test drive is an essential step in the car-buying process. It allows you to make a more informed decision and ensures that you’re getting the best car for your needs and budget.
Consider certified pre-owned vehicles.
Certified pre-owned vehicles are another great option to consider. These cars have been thoroughly inspected by an independent third party and come with a warranty, which means you won’t need to worry about costly repairs in the near future. Certified pre owned cars are generally only available at a dealer and can give you peace of mind not having to worry about coming out of pocket for expensive repairs.
Negotiate your purchase price and terms intelligently.
- Negotiate the best price.
- Negotiate the lowest interest rate.
- Ask for a good trade-in value on your current car.
- Make sure you find the true value of your trade-in and the value of the car you are interested in purchasing before buying a vehicle. Take advantage of internet tools that can help with this process, like Edmunds True Market Value or Kelley Blue Book Values.
- Get an extended warranty if it is available (many used cars don’t have one), but don’t be afraid to pass on it if it’s too expensive.
Taking time to research this important purchase will pay off in the long run.
You can’t expect to know everything there is to know about a car before you buy it but by spending some time researching the market and the different types of cars available, as well as their features, manufacturers and dealerships, you will be able to find the right car for your needs.
We hope these tips will help you find the perfect car for your needs and budget. We know that it can be a stressful process, but if you stay organized and keep your eye on the prize, it won’t be long before you’re driving around town in your new ride!