In 2018, over 5 million passenger cars are sold in the United States.
If you’re one of the people looking to acquire a ride, congratulations! You’ve probably saved up for months or years, and now you’re ready to bring the ride home.
However, you’ll quickly realize that buying a car can be an overwhelming experience, especially if this is your first time. There are literally tens of car models to choose from, each exciting in its own unique ways.
So, how do you find a good ride that suits your needs?
Here’s a complete guide on how to decide what car to buy.
Establish Your Needs
It’s so easy to walk into a showroom looking to buy a minivan but end up driving out with a compact SUV. This is what happens when you haven’t established your needs.
As such, the first step to deciding what car to buy is to have a good grasp of your specific car needs.
Begin by evaluating your lifestyle.
Where do you live, for instance? If you live in the countryside where roads are hilly and off-roading is common, you want a car that’s designed for such terrain.
Do you have a family, and if yes, how big?
If you’ll be cruising around with your family, your ideal car should be able to comfortably accommodate all the members and have enough room for luggage. This is assuming you don’t already own a family car.
If you will be towing, factor in that too. You need a powerful car with all-wheel or four-wheel drive, most certainly a pickup truck. Be sure to learn more about these cars before making up your mind.
Other things to consider include:
• Infotainment technology
• Safety features such as lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring
• Garage space
• Fuel economy.
Cars are big-ticket items. It’s no wonder the vast majority of Americans can’t afford them in cash. Auto loans are soaring to record highs.
For most people, money is the single biggest factor when they’re shopping for a car. After all, you can’t buy a $100K car if all you have is $30K, right?
However, the availability of financing options throws a spanner in the works. If you have a decent job and a good credit score, you can easily buy a car that’s way beyond what you could otherwise afford in cash. If you do this, you’ll be making a costly financial mistake.
Drawing a budget before stepping into the showrooms is the most effective way to ensure that you’re buying a car that’s within your financial means. After establishing the maximum amount you’re ready to spend on the car, you can then start looking up models that fall within your price range.
Bear in mind, the cash price of a car isn’t the only expense that should be going into the budget. Consider post-purchase costs such as fueling, repairs and maintenance, and auto insurance coverage.
If you’re a first-time car buyer, it’s understandable that all that’s in your mind is getting behind the wheel and driving off. You probably aren’t thinking about how long you want to stay with the car or what you will do with it once you’re ready to buy another ride.
Taking time to figure out your future plans will help you settle on the right car.
For example, if you intend to drive the car for three to five years then offload it, you’ll want to buy a car that’s know to hold up its value. If you want a ride you will drive for the better part of the next decade, you want a car that’s reliable and built to last.
There are several automobile manufacturers selling their cars in the country, from U.S. powerhouses such as Ford and GM to foreign giants such as Toyota and BMW.
Of course, all manufacturers focus on building quality cars, but some have a stronger reputation for building better cars than others.
Factoring brand reputation into your buying process can help you end up with a car that suits some of your needs. For instance, if your aim is to buy a car that you’ll resale a couple of years later, you should look into brands with a reputation of building cars that hold up their value well.
If you’re looking to buy a luxury car, there are brands that have a long-standing reputation for manufacturing luxury cars.
Are You Big on Environmental Conservation?
A decade or two ago, not many people gave a hoot about environmental protection.
Today, most modern consumers are environmentally-conscious, and they are actively taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. If you’re one of these people, then you might want to purchase an environmentally-friendly car.
Plus, as America tightens regulations for emissions from vehicles and engines, buying an environmental-friendly car ensures you won’t wind up with a car that’ll be banned a few years down the road.
Ease of Purchase
Most cars are readily available in local showrooms, but it’s possible you might want a car that needs shipping from another state or even country.
If the latter is the case, consider the costs of shipping the car to your place.
Also, factor in the ease of accessing after-sale services. If there aren’t certified repair shops in locations near you, that could mean spending more money to ship it to an authorized repair center.
Your Test Drive Experience
At the end of the day, it all comes down to a test drive.
A car could tick all the boxes on paper, but once you put it on the tarmac, the performance fails to meet your expectations.
By the time you’re ready to do test drives, you should have a list of the cars that suit your needs and preferences. Keep your mind open, and only make a decision after hitting the open read in each of the cars.
That’s How to Decide What Car to Buy!
Indeed, cars come in all shapes, sizes, and models. Variety is a good thing until it’s your turn to buy one. The number of ideal models on the market will overwhelm you.
But having read this guide on how to decide what car to buy, you’re now in a stronger position to find the best ride for your needs. If you’re still in confusion, don’t hesitate to get the help of an experienced auto expert.
Stay tuned to our blog for more lifestyle insights.