Buying a car is a big deal! For most of us, outside of possibly a house, a car is one of the biggest ticket purchases we will make in our lifetime. When making this purchase there is so much to consider. From the brand to the size, to how it looks, to what’s under the hood, the choices can seem endless. With all the things you have to think about when you set out to buy a new or used car the task can quickly become daunting and overwhelming. The good news is, there are a few simple things to think about that can make your decision easier. If you consider the following four things the next time you go car shopping, your experience should be a lot more stress-free.
1. What is my car for?
This may seem like an easy question but it’s one that people don’t ask themselves enough. When considering a new car most people get caught up in the type of car they want in terms of style, or brand name or performance. If you want to be happy with your car purchase long term though, you need to think about what you really use your car for. Is it primarily for commuting by yourself? Do you take long trips in it? Will you be transporting a number of little people in it and all their things? Understanding your lifestyle and how a car will fit in it is of the utmost importance when buying a car. Answering these questions will lead you to narrow down the functions and features you really need in a car. If it’s for a daily trip to a stressful job, you should focus on comfort. If you’ll be going long distances then gas mileage will be of the utmost importance. If it’s for your family, focus on space… and maybe captain’s chairs so your kids won’t spend the whole trip to Grandma’s hitting each other with their toys!
2. Do your research
Once you’ve focused in on the features or set of features you’ll want in your new car, it’s time to hit the internet. You’ll want to start by looking at what each car brand offers in the type of model you want. Most car companies have basically, the same classes of offerings across their portfolio. Decide on 3-4 brands you’re interested in and see what they offer in the type of vehicle you’re looking for. Each company will have a comparable vehicle in the style you’re looking for. Once you identify what those cars are you can start doing a side by side comparison. This is when you can really dig into the important part of car buying. Once you’ve identified comparable cars you can start judging them on price, performance, and style. Make sure before you walk into your first car dealership you’ve done the pre-work of online comparison shopping. Even if you know you’re buying a car from a certain dealership, doing research ahead of time will allow you to ask better questions and give you more leverage when negotiating price.
3. How reliable is this car?
The auto repair industry is a 63 billion dollar a year industry. The fact is, even the best cars in the world will require regular maintenance and, at least the occasional fix of something that breaks. You need to make sure the car your buying will be a vehicle you can rely on and won’t leave you stranded when you need it most. That’s where the two categories above come in. When you understand what you need the car for and compare cars from different brands, you’ll be making sure the car you buy will work for your specific situation. On top of that, there are things you can do ease some of the money burdens that comes with car repair. Almost all new and certified used cars come with some type of warranty and there are usually other types of warranties you can add on to that, either through the car company or the dealership. Make sure when you’re negotiating you ask what warranties are available and what additional costs are associated. Also, make sure you understand exactly what is covered and what is not under each warranty. Just because you have a “warranty” doesn’t mean everything you think should e covered is covered. Lastly, in the negotiation process make sure you ask about any other free service packages the dealer offers. Some dealers will throw in free preventative maintenance services to sweeten the deal. These services can include things like free oil changes, tire rotations or complimentary service calls at specific mileage markers.
4. Remember, it’s your car!
This is the most important thing to remember in your car buying process. As I mentioned, buying this car is going to be one of the bigger purchases you make in your lifetime and hopefully if all goes well, you’ll have this car in your life for a good, long time. Keeping this in mind, the most important thing is to make sure the car makes you happy. If spending too much will make you upset, lose a feature or two and get a good deal. If not having the stereo or the remote starter you want will always nag at you, pay the extra to get what you want. If the color you want is only available in a certain brand, make your final decision that way. The truth is, all the minor decisions and stresses of buying a car are small compared to the happiness and peace of mind you’ll have for years to come if you love your car. Don’t forget that this is your (or you and your spouse, or you and your family’s) car and if the people who own the car love the car, the whole thing will have been worth it.
So, the next time you’re buying a car remember these four things. It will simplify the process and allow you to think more clearly as you go through the process. With these little tricks, your next car buying experience should be better and easier on all involved.
Thanks to Autoankauf Frankfurt am Main