15 Tips to Choosing a Car

There’s a lot that goes into buying your first car, but you might not know it with all the excitement that surrounds buying your first engine-powered machine. Buying a car should never be about looks, and if you or a loved one are looking into buying the right car, you must consider different factors that all go into getting the right vehicle for your lifestyle. In addition, you must also consider what works best for your expertise level, budgeting to get a car, and have enough money for repairs should anything go wrong.

Why Buy a Car?

With everything that goes into buying the right car, you might be wondering why you should go through the hassle of buying a car, and might be wondering if it’s worth it to purchase a car instead of lease or even use other forms of commuting. Having a car is always a safer bet than using different modes or commuting. In fact, many jobs now ask as a requirement for work that you have a reliable form of transportation. Buying the right car can allow you to expand your options when it comes to finding what works. It’s also more convenient than using public transportation. For those that are green-minded, several cars now have the ability to help you lessen your carbon footprint on the planet. Hybrids and electric cars and just some options to look at, and all are a great option when buying the right car.

buying the right car

Why Research

We’ve already established that buying the right car is better than not buying a car at all. However, you still have to do quite a bit of research before jumping at purchasing the first option that comes to you. Research can not only help save you money, but also the headache of having to deal with a car that’s not a good fit, is draining your money, or anything else. Here are 15 tips you can look at when determining what car is right for you and your family. Use them to help you on your journey to finding your road companion.

1. Budget

When buying the right car, the first and foremost issue you should discuss is your budget. A used car dealer can get you a great deal on a car, and you might be able to pay for a car out of pocket in cash! However, if you feel you can afford monthly payments, this is a great option too, and can help you expand your choices when buying the right car. Keep in mind that in order to be approved for a car loan with a good interest rate, you need to have a good credit score. If you’re still young and don’t have credit, ask your parents for help co-signing, or start building your credit early before looking at buying and financing a car.

2. Fixer-Upper

buying the right car

If you’re a good mechanic, or have had ample experience fixing and doing maintenance on cars, you might be keen on getting a fixer-upper. Old school muscle, luxury, and sports cars can be a great investment if you know how to do your own auto body repair, and you can even customize your car and make it more valuable. If you have the time to set aside and do repairs, you can feel free to do this instead of buying the right car. If you don’t have the time, however, this project could prove to be too stressful, so make sure you decide how soon you need a car, and how fast you can complete your vehicle.

3. Size

The size of your vehicle is incredibly important to consider when buying the right car. If you have a big family, or just found out you’re having a child, a bigger-sized sedan or SUV could be the best option for you in order to have more space. If you’re a single person that likes to go outdoors, and has equipment such as bikes and kayaks, then you should consider a bigger-sized vehicle as well. When looking at new cars, you could also look at smaller-sized options. Smaller cars are easier to park if you live in a crowded city, and are the perfect size for commuting.

4. Gas Mileage

buying the right car

On top of paying for your car, you will also have to pay money for repairs, maintenance, and gas every day. A huge plus for car sales involves getting great gas mileage out of a car. You don’t have to opt for a full electric or hybrid vehicle, however. Newer model cars now have gas mileage in mind, and perform well in both city and highways. If you’re looking to buy a truck to work, or a sports car, keep in mind these bigger vehicles will require more gas, and thus might not be the best if you’re on a tight budget already.

5. Performance

As we mentioned above, you might be looking for a car that is able to go fast, pull a heavy workload, and have other performance features. Doing adequate research to ensure that your vehicle is the best performing is crucial when buying the right car. High horsepower, having performance tires, sports modes, and performance packages are all great qualities of a high-end performance vehicle. Talk to your sales rep, and make sure you get the best quality for your money when buying a performance vehicle.

6. Going Green

If you’re someone who is concerned about the environment, buying the right car for you also means buying the right car for the Earth. Hybrids and electric vehicles are amazing options and can help you feel better when choosing to buy a car. Hybrid and electric vehicles don’t let out as many fuel emissions, and in certain states also have their perks. For instance, electric vehicles in California are able to ride in the carpool lane for free, no matter how busy traffic is! Keep in mind, if you do purchase an electric car, you’ll need to have a garage or space where you can charge it. A replacement garage door can help you re-do your garage to store and charge your electric vehicle with ease. Consider these green options when buying the right car for you, and for the Earth as well.

buying the right car

7. Ease of Mechanics

Having a trusted mechanic near you can save you the headache of having to shop around for mechanics that are not going to over-sell you on services. Also, having a mechanic near you can make it easier to get a car towing service for cheap in case anything happens to your vehicle. Unfortunately, some cars are more difficult to fix than others and require specialized mechanics. These include foreign cars, specially designed cars such as hybrids and electric cars, and cars with custom features and after-market parts such as headlights. It’s important to know if the car you are purchasing needs a specialized mechanic. Realize that this is going to be a slight inconvenience in the long run.

8. Looks

If you’re really picky about how your vehicle looks, there’s no shame in this at all! When buying the right car, take the time to look at cars that will make you proud to look at (if that’s what you want). Keep in mind, however, that certain colors will, in fact, increase the amount of your insurance. Red cars will increase your insurance, for instance. In addition, black cars are easy to hide dirt but heat up easier than white cars would. Colors and look isn’t just a simple element that should be written off, but one that should be a crucial element when buying the right car.

9. Interior

The interior of cars can be deceiving, and certain elements can be nice to have. Power seats, for example, can adjust your seats with the touch of a button. Also, luxurious interior leather seats are beautiful but can be difficult to maintain over time. Consider how you want the interior of your car to feel in order to get maximum comfort before buying the right car. This is especially important if you have a long commute, and have to spend hours at a time inside of your car.

10. Used vs. New

buying the right car

You should consider, when buying the right car, whether you want to purchase a used or new car. Used cars can be a great deal if they are maintained properly. Though you can purchase a used car from a person or private party, you can also opt to go to a used car dealer instead. The great thing about car dealers is that they can offer car roadside assistance or car repairs as part of their warranty programs. Though buying a new car also offers a warranty, this can be pricier than getting a used car, and require more money down!

11. Test-Drive

Even if you find the perfect car in your mind, you need to make sure you test drive your car before taking it home with you. Sometimes, you might notice issues that you didn’t before, such as cracks in a window that might require a new auto glass replacement before the vehicle is safe to take onto the road. Or, you might just not feel comfortable handling and driving the vehicle you’re about to purchase. Test-driving a vehicle is the best way to ensure you are able to be confident and safe when driving your vehicle.

12. Kelly Blue Book Value

Buying the right car involves buying it at the right price. Every car has what is known as a Kelly Blue Book Value, or a value that the car should be sold as. The model of the car, the year of the car, its color, special features, and its mileage all add or take away to this Kelly Blue Book value. Research what the Kelly Blue Book should be for the vehicle you want, and don’t stray too far from this number. For example, if you find a car that has a KBB of $10,000, you shouldn’t pay more than this number for your vehicle. Stay away from sellers that are looking to have you overpay, including car dealerships!

13. Safety

buying the right car

Safety should be the number one concern of yours when buying the right car. This is because nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, and an additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled. Though car repair services can help you if you get into an accident, you should get a car that is able to withstand an accident in the first place. Look at any awards the car you are buying has received, the CARFAX report that lists accidents a used car might have had, and check to see that all airbags are functioning properly. In addition, keep in mind that older vehicles might not have all the safety features of modern cars today. Seatbelts and crumple zones are fairly new, and might not be included in classic or muscle cars.

14. Resale Value

The resale value of a car is a great thing to keep in mind when buying the right car. Cars that have a big following, such as Corvettes, Miatas, and Trans-Ams, can be easier to sell even if they are older. Unfortunately, cars lose their value the minute you buy them and depreciate quickly if you don’t take care of them. Get the help of an auto repair technician to help you maintain your car. In addition, buy a car you know will still be a hot item for years to come.

15. Music

buying the right car

If you’re a big lover of music, you want a car that has a great sound system, and possibly offers services such as Sirius XM radio. Don’t skimp on this part of your car, and make sure you have an aux cord outlet, or Bluetooth feature if that’s how you prefer to listen to your music. Keep in mind, you should always focus your attention on the road, and maintain safety and awareness at all times.

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