Whether as a teenager or an adult, at some point, many have that dream of getting a car. Even those who already own one are usually excited about getting a new car. The excitement could be easily cut short if the wrong decision is made.
Purchasing a car is a significant investment because it involves a lot of money, especially when it’s a new car. To make sure you buy the right car, there are factors you need to consider seriously, and if these factors are ignored, perhaps only luck can ensure that you end up with the right car at the end of the day. As much as the excitement of purchasing a new vehicle can sweep you off your feet, you must ensure you don’t get too carried away.
In this article, we will be guiding you on how to choose the right car for you in 10 important steps.
1. Evaluate Your Needs
People think the term “right car” means the one they’ve always pictured themselves using as kids, but cars are more than just dreams. While, sometimes, someone’s dream car might also qualify as the right car for them, it doesn’t always happen. Some people’s cars reflect their personalities, an extension of their essence and social statuses. While for others, the right vehicle for them is the one they see themselves using for many years without spending much money maintaining it. It is hard to discuss the right car for someone, but the best way to discuss it would be in terms of needs. Some of the important questions you need to ask yourself include the following:
- Is this my first car?
- How many passengers can this car fit?
- Do you need an all-wheel drive?
- How many miles does the car have?
- Will this car be ideal for my children?
- Can I take my whole family or friends on a trip in this car?
If you can find answers to these questions, and the answers seem to point to a particular option, then you should know it’s the right one.
2. Decide On Your Budget
Another important step before deciding on the right car is to look at your budget properly. If you’re purchasing a vehicle via auto financing, ideally, car payments should not exceed 15% of your monthly income, and that is to give you financial liberation on the other fronts. The truth is that your world won’t revolve around your car. As hard as that might seem before you get it, it would help if you never ignored that fact. Mortgages, rents, tuitions, food, and other monthly expenses are also important, so if you’re looking to get a new car, you might as well consider your budget properly before doing so.
3. Decide Whether To Lease Or Buy
Whether to lease or buy a car largely depends on your financial stability, and that’s why considering your budget is important. When considering the initial cost, the best option might be to lease because it requires little to no initial payment and low monthly payments. On the other hand, purchasing may prove to be the costlier of the two options initially, but it’s always the best when you consider the long-term. As soon as you’re done paying off the loan, the car becomes yours, unlike having to forfeit your vehicle ownership if you were to lease it.
4. Decide On The Car Class
The auto market is so huge that changes are made almost every model year, as we can see from the production of some cars. New trends, innovations, and technologies are constantly introduced, which may make it difficult for you to choose the right vehicle. If you’re looking at a particular car, consider other models in the same class as the one you’re considering. This will leave you with enough options to choose from when it’s time to decide. Also, check online ratings and reviews before deciding which class to go for.
5. Cost of Operation
This is one of the most important steps to take when purchasing a car, and even more so, the right vehicle. The truth is that it is easier and more tempting to buy a car that is cheaper initially. However, going deeper into using it, you’ll realize its cost of operation is way too much, and then you’ll start wishing you’d made a different choice. The price of operation includes insurance payments, gas, scheduled maintenance, unforeseen expenses, and many more.
6. Car Hunt
The next step after deciding on the cost of operation would be to start searching for a car. Before the internet came into play, people used to walk into car dealerships to find out which car they would like to buy. Thankfully for us, we’re in the internet age, and you can get enough information on whatever car you want online. All you have to do is visit the official websites of the brands you’re considering. Even if you’re looking to purchase a used car, there’s enough information to help you make the best online decision.
7. Schedule A Test Drive
A car may be good on paper, but you’ll only figure out how good it is by test-driving it. Contact the dealership via e-mail or phone to inform them of your interest in their product and when they would like you to come for a test drive. If you’re dealing with a big brand, you should know that you can’t just walk through the door and talk about having your test drive immediately. Have a pre-agreement with the manager to schedule a test drive, and you’ll have the information communicated. To not limit your options, it is ideal for a test drive of about three vehicles, comparing and contrasting your options to know which one will be better for you.
8. Look Out For Certain Things When Test-driving
A car may be sold to you online because it seems to have all the features you want, but you can only truly tell once you test-drive it. Test driving the car means you can drive it like you would in your everyday life. This is the kind of liberation you’ll be given by the dealership you’re getting the car from. Drive the vehicle at different speeds on different terrains while you also test the brakes out in a safe location. Try seating in the other available seats, especially at the back, if you’re with other passengers regularly to get a good view. Test the safety features, the infotainments, and all other things you think may be important when you eventually purchase the car. It is very easy to be distracted and assume this is the car for you without properly testing it, especially when you’re getting much pressure from whoever is in charge. Don’t be distracted at any point during this process.
9. Test A Couple More Cars
You don’t want to test one car and come to a haste decision that it’s the right one for you; that’s putting yourself in a box. You may be allowed to test other cars, provided you agree with the dealership you’re purchasing from. If not, you can make another arrangement with a different dealership to try out some of their cars after they have confirmed your interest. The goal is to have multiple options at your disposal before finally making a decision.
10.Preparing For The Purchase.
By this stage, you should have thought about each car in the class that interests you. You should also be aware of your financial capabilities. You must be able to decide whether to buy or lease your future vehicle. In each scenario, give yourself a brief pat on the back. For the ideal car for you, you have done your research. You can now advance with assurance.