Just what kind of car should I get?
If you’re asking this question, you’ve probably scoured the car market and realized that choosing a car is one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make. There’s literally every type of vehicle you can imagine, from the cheap, convenience cars to high-end, luxury rides.
If you had your way, you’d buy every car that catches your eye, like ultra-rich people do. Unfortunately, money is tight, so you need to find a car that suits most aspects of your life.
To help you reach a decision, we’re fleshing out the various things you should consider when you’re in the market for a car.
This is a no-brainer, really. When you’re asking a question like “which car should I buy,” it’s clear you don’t have the luxury to buy any car you’d wish. You want a car that suits your lifestyle.
Of course, we’d all love to buy a car that makes a statement. If you’re someone who preaches environmental conservation, for instance, a Tesla is your ride. But you know very well Teslas don’t come cheap and even if you can afford it, there’s a chance it won’t be your ideal car.
As such, start by identifying your basic needs in a car. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s the size of my family?
- What’s my commute like?
- How are the roads I will be driving the car on?
- Will I be carrying cargo often?
- How much garage space do I have?
- What safety features am I looking for in a car?
When you have answers to these questions, you move several steps closer to finding your ideal car. Or rather, you’ll have a good idea of a car you don’t need.
For instance, if you’ve got a family of six and you intend to be going on trips with them, automatically, all four-seater cars are out of your list. You need a large family car, possibly a full-sized van.
If you live in the mountains where roads are anything but smooth, you need a car that’s built to handle rough terrain; probably a pickup truck.
As you can see, your lifestyle plays a big role when you’re hunting for a car.
It isn’t a lie when someone says there’s a car for every budget.
Got just $1,000 to buy a car? No problem. You can snap up a thoroughly used 20-year old Honda Odyssey or 2000 Chevrolet Silverado if you need something American-made.
Got about $20K? How about 2020 Mini Cooper?
Looking to splurge a million dollars on a car? You aren’t short of options either.
When buying a car, it comes down to your budget. How much are you looking to spend?
If you’re buying in cash, it’s much easier to set your budget. But if you need financing, a lot will depend on what your lender decides.
For instance, if your ideal car costs $50,000 and you’re looking to secure an auto loan, any lender is going to consider your credit score and income level before making a lending decision. If your financial situation doesn’t warrant 100% financing, the lender might ask you to make a down payment, say 20% of the car’s cash price.
There’s another option that might work for you: leasing.
When you lease, you don’t own the car. You simply make a deposit to a dealership (usually 20% of the car’s sale price), after which you’ll be making monthly payments throughout the term of the lease.
Leasing is ideal when your finances won’t enable you to buy in cash or take out a loan, or when you really can’t make up your mind on what car buy.
Used or New?
Every year in the U.S., about 40 million used vehicles are sold. In comparison, only 17 million new vehicles are sold.
It’s easy to see why used cars sell more. They’re way cheaper and often offer better value for money.
Which way do you want to go?
Whether to buy used or new ultimately depends on your budget. If money isn’t an issue, you can buy a brand-new version of your ideal car. And if you’re on a budget, you’ll definitely find a used car more attractive.
One thing to keep in mind, though: if you’re planning on getting an auto loan, some lenders will only finance you if the car you’re purchasing is brand new.
Running and Maintenance Costs
Cars are big-ticket items. Running them shouldn’t big a big-ticket expense too.
However, if you don’t do thorough research during the car-buying phase, you might end up with a vehicle that literally runs your wallet dry every time you hit the road.
Consider what it will cost you to fuel the car, for instance. Some cars have a friendly price tag but under the hood, they pack thirsty engines. Ideally, you want a car with an engine that delivers efficiency when you press the accelerator.
What about maintenance costs? How often will you be visiting the mechanic’s shop?
Some car manufacturers have a reputation for building solid cars that will do thousands of miles without showing any sign of wear. Other manufacturers build cars that come apart piece by piece even with the best of care.
A simple “most reliable cars” search on the web is enough to give you an idea of the vehicles that are built to last.
What Kind of Car Should I Get? It Comes Down to Your Preferences
When you ask “what kind of car should I get,” you don’t expect anyone to recommend a specific car model at you.
Buying a car is a personal choice, but you need information that’ll point you toward the right choice. With this guide, you’re undoubtedly in a better position to find the ideal car for you.
Happy shopping and keep reading our blog for more motoring tips.