Buying a car is probably one of the biggest purchases you will make – the other is buying a house.
It makes sense that before you fork out a substantial amount of money be certain what kind of car you need.
Now, considering there are several car models on the market, choosing the right car for your lifestyle can be daunting.
Here are 7 tips to keep in mind when making your choice of a car.
What kind of car do you need?
Choosing the right car depends largely on the kind of person you are and the expectations you have for a car. For some, their car is about the style and status symbol.
Others want machines packed with power and speed for weekend cross-country rides. While there are those that simply want a functional vehicle for their daily commute.
After identifying your primary reason for the car, other things to keep in mind include:
Will you need to accommodate children’s car seats? How many passengers will you need to carry? Do you do long commutes daily?
Safety and fuel economy features
Depending on your lifestyle and needs, safety and fuel economy could play an essential role in the type of car you buy.
For large families with little ones, safety becomes a defining factor compared to when it is just you and your partner. You want a vehicle which has been certified by the relevant authorities as safe when subjected to headlong and side collisions.
Also, if your lifestyle involves a long commute, you may want to prioritize fuel-saving cars.
You will need to find a car that is best suited for your location.
For instance, a tiny subcompact sedan is ideal for densely populated cities with small parking spaces. They are not a good choice if you live in rough country. A vehicle with 4wd options is what is needed here.
Decide what is important
Fact is, you are not going to get everything you want in a car. You will have to compromise on some features. So, you may want to list out essential must-have features in your car and then draw up another list of nice-to-have.
When you find a great car you would like to have, run it through your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. If it checks out on the first list but falls short on the second, then you may want to consider going for it.
Set your budget
This point should probably come immediately after you have identified what kind of car you need.
You will need to figure out how much you are willing to pay for the car. And, then decide how you are going to fund the purchase.
Most people at this point will opt for a car loan. While car loans are great funding options, you will have to decide on a car loan that suits your budget.
You may want to run the numbers to see how much you can afford to allocate conveniently towards car payments each month.
Decide whether to buy or lease
Each of the options has its benefits and cons. Deciding which route to take will depend on your financial goals.
For instance, leasing a car means you will have no car once the lease period expires. However, it offers you an opportunity to drive your dream car without having to spend a lot of money.
Also, the monthly payment is relatively smaller compared to if you are buying.
On the other hand, buying a car means you own the car once you pay off the loan. However, it is costlier initially to buy a car plus a higher monthly repayment compared to when you lease.
Test drive the car
Regardless of how much research you put into a car, there is nothing like test running the car to get the actual feel of it.
While taking the car on a spin, be sure to do everything you would have normally done if you own the car. Your goal is to see firsthand how the vehicle handles and if it would suit your everyday needs.
Image Pixabay License CCO