When it comes time to buy a car, many people feel somewhat overwhelmed with the vast array of options available from which to choose. A consumer must make many small decisions along the way before arriving at the best possible choice. Such factors include the selection of a make and model, the amount of money one can comfortably spend, and whether or not a new or used automobile should be purchased. For this reason, car shopping can be a stressful task. The following are some tips that will make the process more enjoyable and less challenging for most individuals:
It is important to work out a budget when shopping for a car, especially if one is experiencing any confusion or anxiety about how much he or she can afford to spend. The best way to accomplish this is for one to make a detailed list of all the current bills for which he or she is obligated, and then take a portion of what remains each month for the new car payment. However, it is not wise to spend all the remaining money on a car payment, as this leaves nothing for an emergency or unexpected expense.
A Used Versus a New Car
When deciding between a used or new car, there are several things one must consider, the most obvious of these being cost. A new car will cost more, regardless of the amount of interest one pays. However, if purchasing a new car is within reach financially, it is certainly a wise decision. Unfortunately, the contracts associated with new automobiles are typically quite difficult to restructure if one’s financial situation changes in the future. If a consumer feels that the latter scenario is likely to happen, a used car is a better option.
Choosing a Size
Selecting the appropriate size is also an important consideration when purchasing a new car, and there are pros and cons associated with both large and small cars.
While it is true that all automobiles are required to meet federal standards for their ability to withstand an accident, big cars are typically safer than smaller models should such an event occur. Additionally, large cars are usually more comfortable than compact cars, but the latter are often easier to maneuver and park. Mileage is a consideration as well, although good gas mileage should never be selected over comfort and safety. One also has the option of a sport utility vehicle, but unless he or she has children or a large family this type of vehicle may not be practical. It is never wise to purchase something that is not really needed simply because it is the latest trend on the market.
It is also wise to make one’s initial inquiry with a dealership by e-mail or telephone before going to the establishment in person. This allows one to obtain a sense of the sales style with which he or she will be dealing throughout the selection process. In addition, if one is able to establish a rapport with a salesperson over the internet, it will serve as a confidence booster before the consumer visits the dealership. Telephoning the Internet department is also a smart idea, as this is a good way for a person to discover if the particular car for which he or she is looking is available.
Most automobile salespersons typically attempt to begin negotiations at a steep price, in anticipation of being bargained down to a price that is more reasonable. However, Internet managers are frequently willing to quote bottom-line prices initially. This is very helpful, as a person can determine whether it is worth visiting the dealership, or if the car is completely out of reach financially.
Cost of Ownership
A frequently overlooked factor that should be considered when buying a car is the cost of ownership. Simply explained, even if two automobiles are priced approximately the same, one may depreciate at a slower or faster rate, or cost considerably more to maintain or insure. This means that although a car’s actual price may be cheaper than another model, it may cost more to own the car, thus eating into the amount saved on its initial price. For this reason, one should conduct suitable research with regard to a vehicle’s cost to own statistics before making a final decision between two models.
Taking an Extended Test Drive
Most people would not consider buying a new car before taking it on a test drive; however, the test drives offered by most dealerships are usually of very short duration. A simple way for a person to determine if a particular car is a good fit for his or her needs, is to rent that make and model from a local rent-a-car facility. Of course this is not free, but the cost of renting a car for just one day is well worth the opportunity it gives the driver to determine whether or not the car is right for him or her.
Most people would agree that shopping for a new automobile can be a complicated process. However, if the aforementioned tips are followed, one will find that it is easier to narrow down the choices. By carefully considering each option, a consumer will almost certainly find an adequate vehicle, which will provide him or her with years of reliable transportation.