If you or someone you know is looking to buy a car, there are probably a hundred things you should consider. But to save time, I’m going to throw out three things that you should think about before you sign your name on the line…
Need or Want: What are you going to be using your new ride for? A long commute? Weekend trips to the mountains? These are just a couple of questions you should consider. A smart car might get incredible gas mileage during your 40-minute commute, but that little guy probably doesn’t exceed expectations in cargo space. A jeep might be a cool ride for a trip to the beach or mountains, but the sound of a soft-top rattling in the wind is going to get old quick when you’re on the highway on your way to work every day. And don’t forget about things like Bluetooth connectivity and heated seats. You really need to sit down and weigh your options before getting too excited about a sharp looking car.
Price vs. Price: So, you love the monthly payments, but are you really considering how much a new car is going to cost you by the time you’ve paid if off in five or six years? And maybe you’re a big fan of the total price you’re getting, but you know the monthly payments are going to take some sacrifice in your budget. Is that something you really want to deal with? And have you factored in other costs like insurance, gas (HOLY CRAP GAS), oil changes, tires, and preventative maintenance? Take your time and make a list so you can get a better idea of the true cost of your new wheels.
Who are you?: Just how you’d Facebook stalk a blind date or possible new hire, the best advice I could give you before buying a new car is to get to know it before it’s yours. Do some research and see how others are feeling about the choice you’re about to make. And always take a test drive. Don’t just ride up and down the boulevard. Put a few miles on it. Ride through parking lots. How does it feel? Is it only smooth on smooth roads? What’s it like going over a speed bump? Some cars let you feel everything, and that’s not ideal. When it comes time to buy, you shouldn’t be buying a mystery. It should feel like you’re bringing an old friend home.