Car Buying Tips With a Practical Approach
If you are planning on buying a new car, you can use some guidelines to help ensure that you get exactly what you are looking for. The tips here are for buying a new rather than a used vehicle.
Figure out your budget
Look over your expenses and find out how much you can afford to spend on your monthly car payments. Try to project into the future over the course of completely paying off the vehicle. For example, will you have other upcoming expenses that could make paying off your vehicle difficult?
By carefully figuring how much you can afford, you can avoid headaches in the future, especially if you are on a tight budget. Also, see how much money you will have available for a down payment on a new car.
Assess your vehicle requirements
Do you need a vehicle to ferry kids around to different activities? Or are you planning on getting a small, economical vehicle for long commutes?
Write down everything that you are looking for in a new vehicle. Try to think as holistically as possible taking into consideration the exterior, interior, engine performance, fuel economy, entertainment features, comfort, navigation, and other factors.
If you are planning to use the vehicle for long family trips, then comfort can be an important consideration. You will want a vehicle with sufficient head and leg room, and comfortable seats. Check the climate control system as some vehicles offer highly advanced system that can compensate for sun radiation and other factors. A comfortable vehicle will also provide a smooth and quiet ride.
Check car reviews and road tests
Before actually looking at vehicles yourself, check the automotive publications and websites for reviews and road tests by experts.
The internet offers a convenient way to browse through the wide range of cars available from the comfort of your personal computer, iPhone, Blackberry or other mobile device.
Road tests will give you information on the vehicle’s handling, control, acceleration, comfort, quietness, and other important factors. Sometimes fuel economy on road tests will provide different results from those stated by the manufacturer.
Good reviews will provide full vehicle specifications including engine performance, special technologies included, and vehicle dimensions and weight. Note that all cars will come with standard features and optional features. The starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is for the standard model without all of the extras.
The amount of technology available on cars these days is astounding. Navigation systems use global positioning systems (GPS) to track your precise position and connect to networks to monitor traffic in your area. The variety of entertainment features is also impressive.
An advanced entertainment system will provide radio, CD player, video player and full connectivity to the internet. If high technology is important to you, then you should look into systems that provide ports for smart phones, laptops, iPods and other A/V devices.
When you are checking reviews and road tests, always use at least a few sources before forming an opinion. Also, make sure that the review sites are reputable and not just set up to sell cars. By collecting multiple opinions, you will be better able to get an accurate view of what the car actually offers.
Another way to get reliable information is check with your network of family, friends, and others that you trust. If they happen to have a car that you are interested in, then they are the best source of information on that vehicle. You can also check the large number of internet forums, blogs, social networks, and auto websites for discussion on new cars. Often the users at these sites are very helpful and can provide you with information that is hard to come by elsewhere.
Once you are properly prepared, you can begin checking out the vehicles yourself at local auto dealers. Be patient and diligent and you will eventually find your dream car!