Finding the perfect car for you is all about nailing that sweet spot between indulging your fantasies and finding a sensible, fair and financially viable deal on a specific model from a specific seller. There are so many ways you can go wrong or simply so many ways that you can miss the perfect car or the perfect deal through rushing into the process. If you’re not sure where to begin, here’s a brilliant guide to helping you find the perfect car for you; the answer’s probably already lodged deeply in your brain.
Before you rush into anything, you need to have a clear idea in your head about the kind of car you want. This is crucial, as you don’t want dealerships manipulating you into going for the deal which suits them. You need to be clear and decisive so that you can’t be tricked into going for a model that you’ll later realise was completely wrong for you and your needs. A great place to start is to set yourself a maximum budget for the upfront cost of the vehicle. You don’t have to consider other expenses yet, as that comes next, but you should be limiting the range of models or brands you’d be willing to peruse. The further you limit your choice, the clearer the specifications for which you’re looking in your future ride will be.
You need to be asking yourself whether it’s a family car, a work car or a fun car, essentially. You need to think about safety features and technology that you’d be looking for in such a vehicle. You need to consider what level of comfort you expect from a car. After that, you need to be looking at your salary and what you can afford in the long term. You need to weigh up the costs against what you want or what you need from your future car. Perhaps you have a list of four of five potential vehicles. You’ll know what type of car you want, in any case. That leads us to the next point…
Now you’ve had a think about what you’re looking for in a car, it’s time to do the real research. The upfront cost barely scratches the surface of the long-term costs involved with owning a vehicle, which you most likely know well if you’ve owned a car before. You should shop around for cheaper car insurance if you can, as this can be a big money pit if you jump at the first company which comes along. When you’re weighing up the specifications of different vehicles, it can be easier to narrow down your choice even further when you consider how cost-effective one model might be in comparison with another. How economical the car is should be a big deciding factor in your ultimate choice, as should the fuel it requires. All of these costs will add up over time, and it should be your lifestyle and your salary which determines what the smartest decision is for you.
Give a few cars a test drive.
It’s natural to still be unsure even when you’ve weighed up the pros and cons of different models a thousand times over. Perhaps you already know what costs would be involved, but the one thing holding you back is an uncertainty as to whether you’d truly be happy with that vehicle. As buying a car is a long-term investment, it’s natural that you’ll be hesitant and indecisive when making that final call on a certain model. That’s why a test drive is the perfect way to make a conclusive decision on a certain car; you could go for test drives in a few of the models that you’ve been weighing up to really give you a comparative standpoint.
Make sure you call up the dealership before you head in, as you need to remain vigilant throughout the process. These are sales people, and they’ll try to make as much money out of you as they can. Ensure that the specific car you want to drive is available before you turn up, otherwise they might try to suggest you drive a more expensive and far worse model (for your needs and requirements, anyway). Make it clear that you’re not making any decisions to buy until you’ve test driven the car and weighed it up against other alternatives. You could try out some other models at different dealerships and pit the two companies against one another to see if you can get a cheaper deal on one of them, once you’ve decided which car you truly want.
Tips for the test drive.
This will likely be the final deciding factor in which car you ultimately choose, so you should be driving the car in exactly the same conditions as you would hope to if you owned it. If it’s a car which will be used mostly for the commute to work, then see how it handles traffic, but if it’s a car which you’re buying for sporty or leisurely purposes, then you can ask the dealer if it’s okay to take it “for a spin” on some long, majestic country roads. Just try not to drive too recklessly; especially not before you’ve bought it.
The decision to buy or lease.
When you know which car you’re deciding on, don’t question your gut feeling. It’s better to invest in something which meets all your needs than spend a little less money today on a vehicle which will let you down for years, as that decision would only cost you more in the long run. Of course, your mission isn’t over yet. The final decision which must be made is whether to buy or lease the vehicle, and that all depends on your financial situation along with personal preferences. If you’re buying a family car which you intend to use for years, then buying is likely a smarter decision, as you’ll want to own the car once the leasing period is over. However, if you’re buying a sleek, high-end vehicle, then perhaps leasing is the best decision, as you’ll be spending less money upfront and on monthly payments. When the leasing period is over, you can just move on to the next best upper-class model.