For many, choosing their first car can be quite an overwhelming experience. Especially for those with minimal experience regarding cars and vehicles, getting one for yourself can leave you inundated with all the information you have to know and keep in mind. Below are some tips to help you in getting the right car for you.
Is Owning a Car for You?
How much do you know about cars? If you’re interested in knowing more, then perfect. There’s a deep well of knowledge about cars, especially with the wide variety and purposes cars have- not to mention the different brands. You can know what parts of a Detroit Diesel engine are but may not be familiar with the components of a Mercedes Benz. But if you’re someone who really wants a car that can get them from point A to point B, all of this might be too much work. Think of a car, and the responsibility associated with it is something you’re prepared for.
Create a Budget (And Stick to It)
Before you go out and decide on what car to get, it’s best to work out a budget to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Not everyone has the ready cash to release when buying a car. So when thinking of your budget, it’s best to properly allocate money towards it. Think of how much you can actually afford for car payments every month. A good rule to go by is that your monthly payment shouldn’t go more than 15 % to 20% of your monthly income. Even if you’re going for a used car, it should still be within your monthly payment range.
Know Your Priorities
Ultimately, the “perfect car” is entirely dependent on what you want out of it. If you’re one for looks and aesthetics, a classic retro car or sleek and modern vehicle might be the one for you. If you’re more concerned about its functionality, then maybe a family car is best. Establish what you want a car for, list down what you need your car to be and to do.
- To help you with that, here’s a short list to help you out:
- What’s the maximum occupancy you’re looking for?
- What kind of driving will you primarily do? Off-road? Highway? Or a mix of both?
- If you’re traveling far, then fuel efficiency might be a factor.
- Are you looking for specific features, such as a large storage trunk, smart unit, or even a scissor door?
- Is garage space a problem?
Know What Your Options Are
Usually, when people decide that they want to buy a car, they’d already had a specific one in mind. While this is good and all, it’s still a good idea to check out other cars within the class as your primary option. Oftentimes when we go to a dealer, the salesman would start offering cars above your budget. Ones with a slightly better interior finish or have a pretty neat feature that your first choice doesn’t have. You wouldn’t want to get tricked into buying something you didn’t plan to get, so knowing your options and understanding the differences between them can give you an advantage.
Go Online and Look for Sales
Car prices can vary from one dealership to another, and you wouldn’t want to go to several dealerships and waste your time asking around. Thankfully, you can look around for current sales and offerings of dealerships near you by simply getting in touch with them online. This is ideal since people usually don’t have enough time to go to dealerships, especially during the workweek. Check on the availability of the car you want at a dealership near you online, and go there in person once you’re ready to sign the papers and pick up the car.
Make Sure to Schedule a Test Drive
Once you have a pretty good idea of what car you want, contact your dealership and schedule a test drive so you can get a feel for the car before signing anything. If you have more than one option, it’s good to try the vehicles, and it’s okay to be meticulous about it. It’s better to have the mindset of keeping the car for a long time and making good use of the investment, so when buying, make sure you are getting the one that’s going to last you.
When you take the car out for a test drive, you want to make sure you test it and get the full experience. Drive it the way you would on the road going to work, sit on the passenger’s seat, bring a child car seat if you plan to use one, and make sure to inspect the trunk. Ultimately, you are buying the car for yourself, so make sure you are comfortable.