You’ve been dreaming of your perfect car for a long time now. You walk through the dealership, and you see it sitting in all its glory. It’s everything that you wanted – until you get to the price tag. The sticker shock has left you speechless. Now, what do you do? There are many factors to consider when purchasing a vehicle, but there are also five questions that can help narrow down which car is right for you:
1- Can I afford this?
It’s easy to get excited about a car, but you have to make sure you can afford it. When calculating how much it will cost, remember to include the down payment, monthly payments over the life of the loan, price of insurance, and trade-in value for your old vehicle.
This will help you know exactly how much you will spend on the car and if you can afford it. When you purchase an expensive vehicle, it can be tempting to think that everything is included with the price of the car.
However, there are often many costs associated with owning a luxury automobile – oil changes, tire rotations, and replacements can all increase your monthly expenses. If these things don’t interest you now but may in the future, when they do come up as recurring expenses over time, then steer clear.
2- Will this be able to handle my cargo needs?
How will the car manage your cargo needs? If you need a truck for work or a car that can transport your family, it’s important to get one that will suit your needs. If you haul around equipment or have a large family, you’ll need to consider whether this car will fit your lifestyle.
3- What are the safety ratings?
Cars are ranked as follows, from 5 stars to 1 star: NR = not rated, 4 or 4.5 stars – Good, 3-3.5 stars – Better than average, 2-2.5 stars – Average, 1 star or below – Poor Worse than average)These ratings strictly determine a car’s ability to protect its occupants in a crash or other forms of accident and do not take into account fuel efficiency, interior quality, design value, etc.
Just because a vehicle has a 3-star rating doesn’t mean the driver will die in every accident. The numbers simply refer to how well the seat belts and airbags hold up in these accidents considering the average driver/passenger size for that car. If you’re worried about safety or want a vehicle with advanced technology, consider the ratings for that specific model and year of the car before making your decision to buy it.
4- What’s the gas mileage?
If you have a tight budget, consider the gas mileage of the car before buying a car. You may not be able to afford the payments for a luxury car, but you could save money on gas if you bought a smaller car with better gas mileage.
If your driving is mainly in city traffic, then you can also elect for an electric vehicle with better fuel economy. They’re pricier upfront, but there’s no gas, and they cost much less to maintain than cars that run on gasoline or diesel fuel.
5- What features am I looking for in my new vehicle?
This question is the most important; as it will help you narrow down your choices. If you’re looking for a vehicle to take on road trips, then perhaps buying an SUV would be best.
Perhaps safety and technology features are more important than gas mileage if that’s what matters most to you. Be honest with yourself about what really matters in this decision – save money later by knowing exactly which features matter most to you before making your purchase.
Now that we’ve covered some of our favorite questions to ask yourself when purchasing a car, hopefully, these guidelines will steer you towards your dream car instead of a car you’ll regret after owning for years or even months.