Up to traverse America’s roads on a daily basis. If that massive number tells us anything, it’s that cars are absolutely central to people’s ability to live their best lives.
Think about it — we use cars to get to school, work, weekend activities and just about everything else in-between. So, sufficed to say that the vehicle that you choose and how well it suits your lifestyle is going to have a substantial impact on your daily routine.
That brings us to this post’s big question. Among all of the options that are out there, how can you find the right car?
Finding the perfect car for your unique needs is a simple matter of stepping through a process. Our team outlines that process by sharing with you a series of the best car buying tips that we’ve had the privilege of coming across this year!
1. Think About Your Immediate Needs
Before you run out and try to find the right car, you need to put yourself in the right frame of mind. The first step to doing that is considering what your immediate needs are.
Do you need a car that can pull heavy loads? If so, buying a car with high-towing capacity is non-negotiable. Do you need your car to make short trips to and from work? If that’s the case, a low-cost, electric vehicle might suffice.
Write out the non-negotiable aspects that you need in a car today and keep them closed when you start hunting for options.
2. Consider Your Future Needs
Sure, if you’re tight on cash and need a car this second, buying a vehicle based solely on your immediate needs is okay. In a perfect world though, you’d be able to invest a little more in your vehicle to ensure that you can rely on it well into the future.
To that end, under your immediate needs list, write down what you’d like from a car in the future.
Things like extra seats for additions to your family might be among your primary considerations.
3. Weigh the Pros and Cons of Buying Used
In our opinion, buying a high-quality used car always presents the best value to buyers. The second that you drive a new car off of a lot, it depreciates significantly which means that if you try to sell it a month or so later, you’d get thousands less for it. Used cars, on the other hand, retain their value so long as you take good care of them.
Used cars aren’t without their flaws though. They may be out of warranty and can hit you with maintenance surprises among other things.
Weigh the pros and cons of buying used to see if it’s the right option for you.
4. Work Out a Budget
How much do you want to spend on your car? Are you planning on buying all-cash or do you want to look into financing?
Consider the variables regarding vehicle cost and payment methods to land on an option that works best for you.
Remember, while “experts” tend to advocate for buying cars all-cash to avoid interest payments, low-interest financing is can be valuable because it gives buyers the opportunity to maintain liquidity among their assets.
5. Don’t Forget About Ownership Costs
What you pay your dealer isn’t the end of your car expenses. In addition to the purchase price, you’ll be liable to pay for your car’s fuel, insurance, and maintenance.
Typically, more expensive vehicles carry much higher insurance premiums and maintenance costs. Do research to weigh the long-term costs of ownership for your car so you don’t end up buying a vehicle that you can’t really afford.
6. See What Kind of Financing You Qualify For
The vast majority of buyers don’t buy their vehicles all-cash. They look to lenders to pay for vehicles on their behalf and then pay lenders back in monthly installments.
If you have good credit, going to a bank or credit union to get a quality vehicle loan shouldn’t be a problem for you. If you struggle on the credit front, seek out which are accustomed to offering financing options to people of all credit backgrounds.
7. Find Local Cars That Fit Your Criteria
With your needs and what you can afford in mind, it’s time to start browsing through potential cars! Thanks to the internet, finding the right car that meets all of your requirements is easier than ever.
Head over to any number of the online car search engines that exist today, filter your results based on your criteria and see which vehicles are selling in your area that check the boxes!
8. Take Your List to Local Dealerships, Test Drive and Buy
Once you’ve come up with a shortlist of cars and where you can buy them, head over to dealerships in your area that can service your needs. Discuss what you’re looking for in a car with a sales rep and see if they can shed more light on what may best suit you.
Test drive cars that you’re interested in and finally, buy whichever one you fall in love with!
Find the Right Car and Hit the Road
After leveraging the tips that we’ve just hit you with to find the right car, you’ll be ready to confidently hit the road.
Drive safe, never operate a vehicle without proper insurance coverage and enjoy your freedom!
Need more advice on cars? You’re in the right place! Check out all of the vehicle-related content that we have on our blog.