Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Car

Wednesday, July 3, 2019, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

It’s easy to hype up the need for a plan when going about purchasing something like a house.

And yet, when the challenge of purchasing a car comes up, it’s easy to toss all forethought to the wind and run out to the nearest dealer as if you’re looking for a pair of discount jeans on Black Friday.

The truth is, though, buying a car is an expensive, complicated process.

Done right, it takes a great deal of planning and consideration, all of which can be critical to ensure you don’t end up with a lemon or, just as importantly, a car you simply can’t afford.

Let’s take a look at a handful of the most important things to keep in mind when going car hunting.

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Car
Image Source: Pixabay

  • Go in With a Plan

    One of the most important ways you can make sure you find success is by going into your search with a plan in place. If you dive in without thinking, you can increase your chances of ending up with uncontrollable debt, ruined credit, and even face the possibility of losing the vehicle entirely.

    The question is, how do you plan for a car hunt beforehand? While there are numerous considerations, here are a few of the most important questions you’ll want to go over before heading to the dealer.

  • Find the Brands You Trust

    While it’s tempting to simply look for the best deal, it’s also important to make sure you get a vehicle you can trust.

    A cheap, undependable vehicle can end up being an ironic money pit. Make sure to do your best to avoid setting yourself up for expensive repairs in the future by looking into the reviews of various car brands and finding one that you trust.

  • Pay in Cash

    While getting a car loan is perfectly normal, the more cash you can put down the better. This will help provide you with better loan options, as you won’t be looking for as large a sum to borrow in the first place. It also helps naturally decrease the overall amount of interest you’ll end up paying via a traditional car loan.

  • Consider what You Need a Car For

    It’s easy to assume that you need to get a car simply because “that’s what everyone else does,” but every time you prepare to hit the lot of your local dealer, you should pause to go over what your transportation needs are in the first place.

    This isn’t just a consideration for new car buyers, either. Circumstances change often, and it’s always worth reevaluating your current situation before you look.

    If you have a family you may need an SUV or a van. If you drive alone you may want to look for something with good gas mileage, and if your driving needs are slim you may be able to ditch the car entirely and stick to a bike and a rideshare app.

  • Understand Your Financing Options

    There are several different ways to finance a car purchase. As already mentioned, you can pay in cash, which is the most ideal route to take. However, it’s also the least likely to happen.

    Other financing options include:

    • Financing your car loan through the dealer.

    • Financing your car loan through a bank.

    • Financing your car loan through an online auto loan broker.

    The state of your credit may affect the availability of some of these options, but regardless of your particular situation, it’s worth getting quotes from multiple sources in order to fully understand your options.

  • New Versus Used

    If money is no object, you may want to consider getting a new car. Naturally, they will perform well, are less likely to need repairs, and will come with all of the latest bells and whistles.

    However, if you have a budget to work within, a used car is typically your best bet. Used cars are widely trumpeted as a better option, as they allow you to:

    • Purchase lower insurance, as a used vehicle doesn’t need things like gap insurance.

    • Know what you’re getting without last minute offers or fees sneaking in.

    • Save a significant amount of money, as new cars depreciate in value far more rapidly than a used car.

  • Know What to Look For

    Monetary considerations aside, it’s also important to go into your car-buying search with a bit of knowledge on how to vet a potential new vehicle.

    For instance, brush up on what each car-safety feature does — things like anti-lock braking systems or lane departure warning devices — so that you can have a thorough understanding of how to test them before you purchase a car.

    Other issues faced by numerous drivers each year often revolve around the engine. Make sure to check that a car starts smoothly, doesn’t stall, smoke, or make odd noises, and that it doesn’t leak. Here is a list of the most common cars that experience engine problems, with Ford sitting comfortably in first place.

  • Enjoy the Process

    There are many different factors involved in purchasing a car. You need to plan out your budget, figure out your transportation needs, decide on a new or used vehicle, and more. With so many things to think about, it can quickly feel overwhelming.

    However, it’s helpful to remind yourself that this is a common process that millions of people go through on a regular basis. While purchasing a car is a big deal that shouldn’t be taken lightly, if you have a plan in place beforehand, it can help free you up to enjoy the experience and ultimately be happy with the car you purchase.

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