Your car may be the second largest purchase you make in your lifetime. You must take your time and not let it become an impulse decision. Before you go out browsing dealer lots consider the following:
- How will I use my new car, truck or sport utility vehicle? A mini-van will fit fine in a large family but might be out of place in a singles life. Do you go off-road a lot but still like to carry more than 2 passengers, go for the SUV. Trucks have come along way with most comforts available in today’s truck rivaling luxury cars. But do you really need that to carry construction equipment to the job site? If you do not go off-road, do not buy a 4 wheel drive truck. The extra weight will only decrease gas mileage and increase maintenance costs. Afraid of the snow? Look to the variety of AWD vehicles on the market which provide excellent traction in the snow and also more economical operation. Take a serious look at your life and find the vehicle that most compliments your lifestyle.
- Color choices. This is a personal preference but rational can come into play. In warmer climates, a lighter colored car will stay cooler. Certain cars are easier to keep clean. White and black are the worst while tan, silver, and brown hide dirt quite well.
- Interior options. Do you need the heated seats? Well that depends on where you live and how much winter driving you do. Leather seats can be unbearable in the summer months and generally harder to maintain. Do you listen to music often? The premium sound system might be a great idea if you do, however if you only listen to talk radio then the standard system will be more than enough.
- Insurance rates. Take into consideration the insurance rates before you start you car buying quest. A Honda may be significantly cheaper to insure than the Ferrari that caught your eye last week. Talk with your insurance agent to find out about how cars are classified. Sports cars generally raise premiums while family cars tend to lower them.
- Who will service the vehicle? Having a dealership close by can be a blessing. If there are no dealerships nearby, buy a domestic car which most mechanics can work on. It is also important to examine the warranty offered before making a decision.
I hope the few comments and suggestions above have given you some things to think about. Never rush into a new or used car purchase. Always take some time to think it over. If it helps, get out a piece of paper and write down the pros and cons of all the vehicle you are considering. Writing down this information is often all you need to get you thinking practically and on your way to making a good selection.