It can be confusing identifying the right car model that matches your needs.
There so many car models out there. Doing a little research will help you narrow down on a particular 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 something different to a particular person. There those who purchase cars as status symbols and others who purchase a car as part of a business asset. Before shopping for a car, ask yourself “why do I need a car?” The answer to this question will help you narrow down on a car model.
If you have a family a sedan or station wagon offers enough seating space for the kids and some shopping. If you are single, rich and adventurous then you can go for a more sporty car with enough horsepower. You will also need to identify a car suitable for particular roads. If you plan to do some off-road driving then go for either a AWD or 4WD. On the other hand, if you do a lot of commuting in area with lots of traffic jams a hybrid can get you places at affordable fuel costs.
2. Create a budget
Purchase a car that is within your means. You need to factor in how monthly car repayments will affect your household budget. For most people a car is a luxury and should not take a large chunk of your monthly income. You will then need to decide how you are going to finance the car.
If you have good credit rating you may opt to take a loan from a financial institution like a bank. However, if you have bad credit rating the better option would be a credit union. Next, decide how you are going to pay for the car. You can do it through cash, take a loan, borrow from friends, get a dealership auto loan or lease. A lease may be cheaper but you do not own the car at end of the lease agreement. You may want to discuss with your lawyer the pros and cons of each.
3. Compare prices
You are not obligated to pay the price quoted by a car seller. Shop around for alternatives in various online car seller websites. Research gives you a base purchase price to negotiate with the dealer.
4. Test drive the car
You need to test the car to know whether you like it. Test-driving enables you to check the car for potential problems. You can have your mechanic accompany during a test drive. Check the interior for any lose knobs. You can purchase a diagnostic device to check for engine errors. Next, check the engine for any leaks.
If everything under the hood take the car for a test drive. Accelerate and then apply the brakes. They should be responsive and not make a screeching sound. You are not obligated to every car you purchase, take some time to make a decision. You can consult your friends and mechanic before making a final decision.
5. Petrol, diesel or hybrid
Fuel costs are the number one monthly car expense. Most small cars run on fuel. It is the most common source of fuel for most cars. Diesel is available for most trucks and some SUVs. Gasoline is widely available but global prices keep fluctuating. When there is a world crisis you will notice that the prices of gasoline skyrockets and at times becomes scarce. Gasoline contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases and plans are in place to find alternatives.
If you are keen on clean energy you can go for an electric car or hybrid. Electric cars are charged like you do a phone. They are noiseless and do not produce carbon emissions. Hybrid cars use both electricity and gasoline. Your budget and car models available will determine your selection.
6. New car or used
Again your budget will be the key determining factor whether to purchase a used car or new. If you are fresh from college and job hunting a used car will do fine. However, if you are working and have a good car loan from your company it will make more sense to purchase a new car. You should be careful when purchasing a used car because if it is not in good condition you will incur additional expenses for repairs.
7. Body style
Long time ago cars used to come in one type of body style. But, today you have a wide variety to choose from. You can have a car with a convertible roof, sunroof, bicycle ranks, SUVs, station wagon, limousine, or sedan. The SUV market has greatly changed to include luxury models. Your lifestyle and personal tastes will determine the body style that you go for. Check also for trunk space. If you have a family you may need extra trunk space to fit all your shopping and luggage.
If you plan to carry more weight while having passengers you may opt for a double cabin pickup. More luxurious car models like the Mercedes S-class or BMW 7 series come loaded with luxury seats, premium wood trimmings, the latest car technological innovations but all these come at a cost. You can have your customized to suit your tastes. Bentley for example, lets you have personal seat engravings.
When choosing the right car for you, budgetary considerations have priority. You cannot purchase a car that you can’t afford. Next, you need to consider how you are going to finance the car purchase. Is it a car loan, cash or borrowing from friends? Insist on taking the car for a test drive with purchase.
Car monthly maintenance costs can be high depending on the car model. Gasoline engines are more expensive to maintain when compared to hybrid and electric cars. Personal needs include whether you are purchasing the car for family needs, business or it’s a luxury item. If you have a family you may consider getting something with more trunk space.