You might be reading this article because you are planning to buy a new car! With hundreds of car models and designs to pick from, the process of buying a car is easy said than done. A lot of buyers feel confused and end up buying a simple car all the time. Few others, ask for opinions from their dear ones and some use car history reports to finalize their decision.
Choosing the right vehicle is a tedious but fun-filled process. If you stick to a structured approach, you will have plenty of joy finding your next car.
#1 Know Thy Requirements
First of all, you must understand what you really want! Are you in love with sedans? Or, do you prefer lengthy trailers? Or, do you want a simple car that blends your day-to-day life? The car you pay for must meet your requirements. It must satisfy your needs and wants seamlessly. This is why you should begin the hunt by understanding your requirements. “Smart requirements” will narrow down your choices. Try to document what you want. This checklist will direct you to the right vehicle. Here are few pointers to help you:
- Do you love off-roading? Do you go on frequent trips? If yes, you need a tough 4-wheel drive vehicle.
- Is your family super-big? Do you travel with 8 to 10 people? If yes, you need a massive SUV like a Prado!
- Are you a newly-wed couple? Are you looking for a car that reflects your current state of mind? If yes, go for a sedan!
At all times, understand and prioritize your requirements. Your checklist will tell you what you need the most. It could be anything like looks, space or mileage!
#2 Leasing Versus Buying
So, are you prepared to buy or lease a car? A lot of prospective buyers feel confused after this question. Buyers with very little money should decide to lease a car. By default, leasing needs little money and offers lower monthly installments. The moment your lease comes to an end, you will lose the car. But, you can decide to lease a better vehicle.
On the other hand, buying a car means lots of money. You should be prepared to spend thousands of dollars in the beginning. Next, you must pay bigger monthly premiums. Once the loan comes to an end, you will become an owner of a car. The car can be given on lease, sold or driven around.
Numbers can help you understand if you are ready to buy a car or if you should opt to lease a vehicle. The numbers will never fail you! You will be able to make the right decision immediately.
There are many online tools to help you choose between leasing and buying. For example, you have Edmund’s Calculator for computing your monthly repayments.
#3 Test Drives Matter
Never buy a car without test driving it! It is always wise to get in touch with the dealer before meeting them in person. A simple phone call with the dealer will help you understand his/her style of sales. You will know how your sales experience will be. Additionally, you will gain confidence in them.
The moment you build a stable relationship with the dealer, go ahead and schedule a test drive. As the salesperson to plan the test drive. Also, request them for bigger and better deals. Remember, every dealer has a fair price to offer. You should ask to bag the dealer’s finest offering.
Test driving the car is an interesting process! If you are planning to buy a used vehicle, the test drive becomes extremely important. Test drives are used to understand the present condition of a vehicle. It is required to become familiar with the car. When you test drive a car, run through speed bumps, drive in traffic and freeways. If you intend to drive into rough terrains, test drives the vehicle on steep roads. The car must be tested in tight corners and safe locations. Don’t forget to sit behind and experience the backseat. In simpler terms, verify if you can use the car!
During the test drive, stay composed and clear-headed. Don’t be intimidated or distracted by the dealer. Remember, they will speak to keep you engaged and distracted. Also, don’t drive with loud music or the radio.
For most people, cars are big investments. That is why you should evaluate the vehicle thoroughly! Above all, you must stick to your intuition. Are you unable to bond with the vehicle? Do you find the ride uneasy? If yes, you should reconsider! Never buy a new car without 100% confidence.
Once the test drive comes to an end, leave the spot! You must test drive several vehicles from different dealers. Never stick to a single dealer. It is always good to plan and schedule your test drives. Try to organize one in the morning and another in the evening. By driving the same car from many dealers, you will uncover untold differences.
#4 Your Budget
The talk about buying a new car remains incomplete without your “Budget”. When it comes to budgeting, here are few questions you must ask yourself:
- How much are you prepared to spend?
- Do you have plenty of money for down payment?
- Do you intend to take a loan?
- How much are your monthly fuel bills?
- How much can you spend on the car every month?
Cars are not one time investments. Every month you should spend on fuel, loan repayment, repairs, and maintenances. When you buy a car, you must spend on registration. On an average, cars can consume 20% of your monthly income.
Before you finalize on a car, understand your financial situation. The car you buy should fall within your monthly budget. You must be able to handle its expenses comfortably. Never be tempted to stretch your car loan beyond 5 years. This is an unwise move. Instead, wait patiently!
Buying an expensive car can destroy your lifestyle and leave you bankrupt. So, think twice!
#5 The Final Decision
So, you have found your dream car and dealer. In fact, you have arranged for funds. With all this being done, are you prepared to buy a car?
It is important to review your decision several times. There is no harm in re-visiting your choice. If you are unsure about your decision, go ahead and look for better cars. Finalize the deal only when you are obvious with your choice.
Intuition and emotions play an integral role in the decision. Fortunately, there is nothing wrong with following your intuition and emotions. Yet, you must not overwhelm with feelings. Cover all the basic steps and then let emotions handle the show. In the long run, what you need is a car that blends with your lifestyle and lets you enjoy.
By now, you must have reviewed all cars that suit your requirements. You must be aware of how much you can afford. Next, you have test driven several vehicles. Finally, you must prepare for the buying cycle. The buying cycle involves many stages. One, you should get in touch with a lender. Apply for a car loan and make sure all required details are produced. Two, you should schedule an appointment with the dealer for the final transaction. This is when you sign-off and own your brand new car!