New to car buying or haven’t bought one in many years? Don’t worry! It just takes some research and planning. Read on as we share some simple tips to make your car selection easier.
Assess Your Needs & Budget
It’s important to determine why you need a car before making a purchase. While for some it’s a statement symbol, for others it’s a means for the daily commute. Depending on your requirement you can then set a budget. How much can you really afford? A general rule of thumb is that your monthly car payment should not exceed more than 15%-20% of your monthly take-home salary. A used car will be less expensive, but the same rule applies. Also, don’t forget to factor in fuel and insurance costs.
Decide if You Want to Lease or Buy
No matter what you choose, buying or leasing have their own set of pros and cons. Leasing offers lower monthly payments, but once the lease is over, you have to shop for another car. While buying is expensive and the payment can be higher, you still own the car once you pay off the loan.
Consider Other Cars in the Class
Have your mind set on a specific car? With new car models increasingly hitting the showrooms, there are chances you could find a better option. Even if you have a car in mind, you can still compare cars in the same class to make sure you haven’t overlooked an even better choice.
Set up a Test Drive
Once you find the car of your choice, contact the dealer or seller to schedule a test drive. It is advisable to test drive at least three cars so that you don’t limit your choices. Try scheduling the test drives back-to-back, as it will make comparing the driving experience easier for you. After test-driving several cars, you’ll be able to make an informed choice.