Whether you’re buying your first car or looking for a replacement vehicle, it’s important to take your purchase seriously. You have many considerations to make as you strive to find the perfect car for you, and this guide can help.
Assess Your Needs
You may dream of owning a sporty convertible, but is this type of car practical for your needs? To help you purchase a sensible vehicle, answer these questions:
- How many people will ride in your car regularly? Are any of them children?
- Do you need a city car, highway vehicle, or something for off-roading?
- Do you need a car that can handle snow and ice? (If you live in Northern Colorado, the answer is yes!)
- Is all-wheel drive important to you?
- Will you need a lot of cargo room?
- Do you plan on doing any towing?
- What safety features are you looking for?
- Do you have a small garage or limited-size parking space?
Set a Budget
If you’re trading in a car, this might cover your down payment. Otherwise, be prepared to hand over a few thousand dollars upfront. Then, any car payments you take on should be no more than 20 percent of your monthly income. The shorter your loan period, the higher your monthly payments will be, but the less you’ll end up paying in interest over the course of the loan.
Consider the Cost of Ownership
The upfront cost isn’t all you must pay to own a car. Two vehicles with similar purchase prices could have very different insurance, maintenance, and fuel expenses in the coming years. Some cars also hold their value better than others, which is worth considering if you think you’ll ever want to sell or trade in the vehicle years from now.
Decide Whether to Buy or Lease
Both are viable options. For example, leases require little or no money down and come with lower monthly payments, but you’ll never own the car and must return it at the end of the lease period. Then, buying a car gives you the flexibility of ownership, including driving as many miles as you want, but if you ever want a new car, you’ll have to deal with the hassle of selling it or trading it in. The decision to buy or lease depends on what experience you’re hoping to have.
Consider New & Used Cars
Buying or leasing a new car gives you access to all the bells and whistles of the latest model, but a used car could provide tremendous savings. Even if you shop for a used car from a private seller, you can have a mechanic check it out for your peace of mind before you finalize your purchase (more on that later).
Watch for Deals
If you’re not in a huge rush to find the perfect car, take your time looking for the best deals. Sometimes all you need is to time your car purchase right to find a reliable vehicle at a lower price than you thought possible.
Research & Compare
You might have your heart set on a specific make and model but remain open to other options. By researching and comparing similar cars, you can find one that truly fits your needs best.
Test Drive Several Makes & Models
This is one way to tell whether the specs you read about online truly deliver. Test driving helps you compare the features of different cars and get a feel for which one you like best. It also helps you spot any potential problems in a used car.
Bring the Vehicle to Scott’s for a Pre-Purchase Car Inspection
Even after you think you’ve found the perfect new car, don’t sign on the dotted line until a mechanic takes a look under the hood. Scott’s is the perfect place to bring a vehicle for a pre-purchase car inspection. We perform all the mechanical, safety, and appearance checks you can’t complete yourself. With the results of the inspection in hand, you’ll know whether it’s advisable to go ahead with the purchase.
If you have any questions for our team, or you want to schedule an appointment, please contact Scott’s today at 970-682-4202.