How to Choose the Right Car

Photo by Antoni Shkraba

Choosing the right car shouldn’t be as simple as picking what’s trending right now, but it should not be as difficult as well. Here is a simple guide to help choose the right car for you.

Step 1. Assess your needs

Choosing the “right car” means picking a vehicle that can help with your daily routine more than anything else. Some prefer flashy cars and that is all right if you have the bank account to support a flashy lifestyle.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

But, if you’re on a budget and you’re providing transport for more than just one person you need to be practical with how you choose the right car.

Here are some details you might want to think about before buying a car:

  1. If you’re single a crossover might be the best fit for you. If you have a family then try out the minivan.
  1. If you have an office job choose a car that is fuel-efficient. Not only will it save you gas from your daily commute but most fuel-efficient cars aren’t flashy enough to attract would-be car thieves.
  1. If you live near your workplace you can buy yourself a car with more horsepower since you won’t be driving too far to get to your destination.
  1. If you use your car daily fuel efficiency is your most important requirement.
  1. If you’re short choose an SUV or a crossover, something that can give you a much better view of the road. If you’re tall then a sedan or sports car would do just fine.
  1. If you’re a longtime driver then something with a little more speed might be suitable for you.
  1. If your depth perception is poor avoid cars with large bodies like an SUV, crossovers, vans, or minivans. Choose a car with a short front so that it will be easier to gauge the distance between your front bumper and the vehicle in front of you.

Step 2. Assess your budget

Before you purchase a vehicle you should list down your monthly expenses and see if you could allot 15% of your monthly income to paying for a car. If your answer is “yes” then it’s time to shop for a car.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

Make sure to find a car that is fuel-efficient. With the way gas prices are right now, it would really make your life better if you have a car that doesn’t burn a hole through your wallet every month.

You should also check out online reviews of the different cars in your location. Some people have useful information about getting a car for a certain budget so go online and look for forums on car topics.

Step 3. Compare prices

Never ever settle on the first car you find even when you think it has the best price for you. Chances are there will still be another right in the next dealership that has a better price tag or features for you.

Photo by Antoni Shkraba

Do your research online and/or do some actual legwork and visit as many car dealerships as you can. Just don’t always buy into what the salesperson will tell you. It’s their job to put the car you’re checking out in the best light they can, it’s your job to see past all that and assess for yourself if it is the right car for you.

Step 4. Weigh the cost of ownership

It might sound ironic to put this reminder here but it truly is an important factor to consider when you are thinking about purchasing a vehicle. It might be tempting to have your own car because you think public transportation is a hassle and you believe that you’ll be saving yourself from huge expenses and headaches by driving your own car. But you might not have considered the fact that maintaining a vehicle would be a different set of “huge” expenses for you.

Photo by Wendy Wei

Aside from gas bills, you need to take your car in for repairs or maintenance monthly if you’re going to use it frequently. In addition to that you need to allot space where you live for your car. If you don’t have a garage you need to spend a little to ensure that your car has sufficient anti-theft devices (alarms, locks et al). And if that is not enough you need to get insurance for your car, fortunately, there are some auto insurance companies out there that offer affordable premiums for motorists.

Step 5. Test drive your car

Now that you’ve made the decision to purchase a car and now that you’ve found the car that you want the next thing to do before you buy it is to test drive your vehicle. It is important that you get to drive your potential car first before buying it so that you’ll get a “feel” of it and see if the car of your choice is truly the one for you.

Photo by Gustavo Fring

Test drive the car on your route to work and to your house. See how it feels driving it during traffic so that you’ll know if it will be comfortable. Check if the steering wheel is light to your touch and see how fast the car speeds up when you pump the gas and see how fast it stops when you press on the brakes.

All of these are important details you need to find out for yourself so that when you do buy your car there won’t be any surprises for you on the road.

Finally, buy the right car for you!

Photo by Coworking Bansko

Once you have made all the necessary assessments you’re ready to purchase your new car. As long as you go through the steps above your chances of getting the right car for you will be much higher.

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