Choosing the right new or used car is a big decision. Finding the right car from the many options available online and at local dealerships can feel overwhelming. The best way to approach your job hunt is to create a plan and follow it. By progressing step-by-step you can find your next car while resting easy knowing that you didn’t overlook anything important throughout the process.
Assess Your Financial Situation
Before you can begin checking out what your options are it’s essential that you are operating from a realistic financial position. While it’s nice to pursue your dream car, if it’s not within your budget then it only serves as a distraction. The three biggest factors are how much cash you have for a deposit, how much you can afford to pay monthly and what your credit score is.
Figure Out What You Need
There is no true “best car” to be found out there which would be the right fit for everyone. Getting the car you need requires you to figure out what you require from your car first. Sit down to compile a list of primary needs that you must have. Anything can be a must-have option in the right situation. If you have a large family you may need to be able to seat six, for example, while a long commute could mean needing a car with great gas mileage.
Decide What You Want
While your needs are important, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for some personal preferences as well. If you know what you want before showing up on the lot you can help break the tie between similar options which suit your needs by seeing which one does a better job of ticking off the extras.
Seek Out Financing
While in an ideal world you would pay for your entire purchase up front and face no costly interest rates, the majority of car purchases involve some level of financing. Shop around with multiple lenders in order to find the best offer for your situation. Online auto insurance aggregators are a fantastic option for finding your best loan opportunity.
Shop With Multiple Dealers
Just like you’re better served shopping around for the right lender you should be diligent with shopping for the right dealer or personal seller as well. Unless you are under immediate duress you should take your time researching potential options to find the car that will make you as happy as possible. That means not only finding a great match but finding a seller willing to give you a great price as well.
Consider Extra Costs
The costs of the car you purchase don’t stop until the day you stop driving it. From the price of insuring your vehicle to the gas it burns and the repairs it needs to keep working, there are many additional costs to consider. Sometimes a car which costs more at the moment of sale can actually put more money in your pocket over the course of owning it so be sure to consider all financial aspects before signing on the line.
Get Your New Car
Once you’ve considered all of the above factors and winnowed the field of potential cars down to the one winner it’s time to make the purchase. Always remember to negotiate with your dealer in order to lower the overall costs of the purchase. A little bit saved at the point of sale can go a long way over the course of a loan. Your dealer wants to sell the car just as much as you want to buy it so make sure to use that to your advantage by saving money.