You probably know it’s unwise to buy a car on a whim. Considering the expense, you could waste money if you make the wrong decision. There are a number of important considerations you need to make first and these include the following.
#1: What can I afford?
Before you head to your local car showroom, you need to work out your budget. What can you realistically afford to buy? If you don’t do the maths beforehand, you could be swayed into buying something you can’t afford by the salesperson. Or your heart might rule your head!
Compare prices online before you look at cars and test drive them. And remember that the cost of a vehicle is more than just the purchase price. You have insurance, road tax, and fuel costs to consider as well as any add-ons you might want to include with the car. Take all of these things into consideration and assess monthly payments using a car finance calculator if you’re taking out a loan to fund your new vehicle.
#2: What are my needs?
When it comes to buying a car, we all have different needs. Those of us with a family will need extra seats and luggage space. Those of us who enjoy road trips will need something with good mileage. We might also need something capable of towing trailer tents and off-road caravans. And those of us who like to feel super-safe in the cars we drive will want something with the latest safety advancements.
So, consider your needs? Make a checklist and use it when looking at cars online or at your local dealership.
#3: How road-worthy is the car?
This is less of an issue if you’re buying something brand new. Chances of faults occurring soon after driving it off the lot are slim. But if you’re looking at used cars, there is the possibility that a car you like might not be road-worthy.
To ensure you don’t drive away in a lemon, inspect the car before purchase. Take a good look at both the exterior and interior of the vehicle or bring along a car mechanic if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Take the car on an extended test drive too and watch out for any strange sounds or smells that might be coming from the vehicle.
#4: How trustworthy is the dealer?
Most car dealers are reputable but you still need to have your guard up. If they can’t provide you with details of the vehicle’s history or if they try to sell you a car that is clearly not up to scratch, beware. You should also be cautious if they are overly pushy, although in some cases, this might be because they’re working on commission.
Before choosing a dealer, look for reviews online. And ask for recommendations from family and friends too. By taking these steps, you will know which dealers are best avoiding.
It’s not easy choosing the right car. There are a lot to pick from and some will be better for you than others. So, take these important considerations into account and factor them into your spending decision.