4 Steps To Find the Right Car for You
Are you in the market for a new car but don’t know where to begin? It’s not too difficult to find a car that will suit your needs if you’re willing to put in a little time upfront. Do your research and plan before you start the shopping process. Take a look at these four steps you can take to find the right car for you.
Assess your needs.
You may like to dream about what you want in your next car, but think about what you really need in your next car too. Figure out which features are necessary in the short term and which will be beneficial in the future. Flash is great in cars, but functionality is crucial — you may get lucky and find the best of both worlds. If not, think about practical considerations like how many passengers you need to carry, the type of driving you do and if you’ll have to drive in ice and snow. You should also think about the safety features that are important to you, if you’ll need car seats for children and the size of your garage. Whether the Ferrari’s V12 with a hybrid system is your preference or you think you want a Honda Odyssey with easy third row access, you need to ensure the car you choose meets your daily needs.
Determine your budget.
There are various resources you can use to help you sell your car to increase your budget. Are you asking yourself, Can I sell my car for cash? If so, the answer is yes and that cash is money you can put down on the car to lower your monthly car payment.
Once you find a car you want, see what other people are paying for it. That’s call True Market Value (TMV®).
A dealership or online calculators can easily help you determine your budget and calculate your monthly payments based on the price of the car, the amount of money you can put down and the length of the car loan.
Decide if you should lease or buy.
Consider the pros and cons of leasing or buying a car and how you feel about those to help you make a decision of which route is best for you.
A lease requires little money down and lower monthly payments, so you can usually drive a more expensive car while paying less for it in the short term. Leasing a car also means you can eliminate the hassles of trading in your car when the lease ends. However, you don’t have a car when the lease is up and start the process over. You also have to be vigilant about the miles you put on the car — leases cap the amount of miles you can drive each year.
If you buy a car, you spend more money initially but when the loan is paid off, you own a car you can keep for many years. You also have the flexibility to modify your car – you can tint the windows or upgrade sound systems or the wheels and have no one to answer to. When you drive a car you own, you don’t have to worry about mileage penalties – a big positive if you drive a lot of miles.
Set up a test drive and know what to ask.
If you think you have found your perfect car match, set up a test drive. Even if a car has the features you want, you need to sit in the driver seat and drive the car the way you would during a normal day. Drive the car in stop-and-go traffic and on the highway. Test the breaks in safe location, drive over bumps and turn right and left. Sit in the backseat if you have passengers and make sure car seats fit if you’ll be hauling children.
Most of all, take your time and look everything over. Focus on the driving experience: Listen to the sound of the engine, evaluate the sound system, move the driver seat around, check out the heating and cooling system and so on.
Once you do your research, you can feel more confident choosing your next vehicle. The process doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but it often is – after all, choosing a car is exciting and not something you do every day. Take your time and remember to buy a car that meets all of your wants and needs, and one that is within your budget.