It can be confusing identifying the right car model that matches your needs.
There are so many models of cars out there. A little research will help you narrow down your thoughts to a specific model.
You can ask a friend who knows more about cars to accompany you during the purchase. If you do not have one in mind the following tips will come in handy.
1. Identify your needs
A car represents different things to different people. There are those who buy cars as status symbols and others who buy a car as a business asset. Before you buy a car, ask yourself: “Why do I need a car?” The answer to this question will help you narrow things down to one car model.
If you have a family, a sedan or station wagon offers enough space for the children and some shopping. If you are single, rich, and adventurous, you can opt for a more sporty car with plenty of horsepower. You will also need to find a car that is suitable for certain roads. If you plan to drive off-road, you should choose either an AWD or a 4WD. On the other hand, if you commute regularly in an area with a lot of traffic jams, a hybrid car can get you places at affordable fuel costs.
2. Create a budget
Buy a car that is within your means. You need to consider how the monthly repayments for the car will affect your household budget. For most people, a car is a luxury and should not consume a large part of your monthly income. You must then decide how you want to finance the car.
If you have a good credit rating, you can opt for a loan from a financial institution such as a bank. However, if you have a poor credit rating, the better option would be a credit union. Next, decide how you want to pay for the car. You can do this with cash, take out a loan, borrow something from friends, take out a car dealership car loan, or lease. Leasing may be cheaper, but you will not own the car at the end of the leasing contract. You may want to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the two options with your lawyer.
3. Compare prices
You are not obliged to pay the price offered by a car dealer. Browse various websites of online car sellers for alternatives. Research will give you a base purchase price that you can negotiate with the dealer.
4. Test drive the car
You have to test the car to know if you like it. With a test drive, you can check the car for potential problems. You can have your mechanic accompany you for a test drive. Check the interior for loose knobs or buttons. You can buy a diagnostic device to check the car for engine faults. Next, check the engine for possible leaks.
If everything under the hood is satisfactory, take a test drive with the car. Accelerate and then brake. The car should be responsive and not make a squeaking noise. You are not obligated to buy every car you try, so take some time to make a decision. You can consult your friends and your mechanic before making a final decision.
5. Petrol, diesel or hybrid
Fuel costs are the number one monthly car cost. Most small cars run on fuel; it is the most common fuel source. Diesel is available for most trucks and some SUVs. Gasoline is widely available, but global prices fluctuate constantly. If there is a global crisis, you will find that petrol prices skyrocket and, at times, supplies of gasoline become scarce. Gasoline also contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases, so there are plans in place to find alternatives.
If you are interested in clean energy, you can choose an electric car or a hybrid car. Electric cars are charged like a telephone. They are silent and produce no carbon emissions. Hybrid cars use both electricity and gasoline. Your budget and available car models will determine your choice.
6. New car or used
Again, your budget will be the deciding factor on whether you buy a used car or a new car. If you are fresh out of college and looking for work, a used car is fine. However, if you are working and have a good car loan from your company, it will make more sense to buy a new car. You should be careful when buying a used car because if it is not in good condition, you will incur additional costs for repairs.
7. Body style
A long time ago, cars only came in a single body type. But today you can choose from a wide variety. You can have a car with a convertible roof, sunroof, bicycle rack, SUV, station wagon, sedan, or limousine. The SUV market has changed a lot and now includes luxury models. Your lifestyle and personal taste will determine the body style you choose. Also, check the trunk. If you have a family, you may need extra space to fit your shopping and luggage.
If you plan to carry more weight while you have passengers, you can opt for a double cabin pickup. More luxurious car models such as the Mercedes S-Class or the BMW 7-Series are equipped with luxurious seats, first-class wood paneling, and the latest technical innovations, but all this comes at a price. You can also have your car customized to your taste. At Bentley, for example, you can have your own personal seat engravings made.
When choosing the right car for you, budgetary considerations have priority. You cannot buy a car that you cannot afford. Next, you need to think about how you want to finance the car purchase. Is it a car loan, cash, or a loan from friends? Insist on taking the car for a test drive with the purchase.
The monthly maintenance costs for cars can be high, depending on the car model. Fuel engines are more expensive to maintain than hybrid and electric cars. Personal needs include whether you buy the car for family needs, business purposes, or as a luxury item. If you have a family, you might consider buying something with more trunk space.