After you’ve an idea of your budget, you can start looking for vehicles that fit your needs and lifestyle.
Consider how many people you’ll be transporting, as well as how much space you’ll need for everyone’s belongings. Consider where you drive, the conditions on the road, and how far you go.
If you spend a lot of time on long road trips, a roomy vehicle with good gas mileage could be preferable to a subcompact that is easy to park in the area.
SUVs and crossovers are common right now, but they cost more than cars to buy and maintain, and they are costlier to insure.
Don’t just consider where you are now; consider your car’s needs in a few years.
Will you need anything to transport elderly parents if you have children, or will that two-seat sports car suffice?
If you don’t know what the future holds, a short-term lease could be a safer option than purchasing a vehicle.
The following steps will assist you in selecting, pricing, locating, and test-driving the vehicle that is right for you. You’ll be able to move on to the 6 Steps articles on purchasing a new car, buying a used car, or leasing a new car after reading and completing these steps.
Step 1: What kind of vehicle do you require?
If you look at your needs rather than your desires, you’ll easily figure out what car is best for you.
Consider what you do with your car for a moment. How many people would you be transporting? What kind of driving do you do on a regular basis? How long does it take you to get to work? Is getting good gas mileage in your next vehicle important to you?
Too often, people pick a car based on its appearance or because it is a popular trend.
If you do, you will end up going over budget or having to shop for a car again soon. Allow your needs to guide your decision rather than your desires. Here are a few more questions to consider before you start looking for a car:
Do you want an automatic or manual transmission?
Is four-wheel drive really necessary? Or what about all-wheel drive?
What protection features are you looking for?
Do you need a large amount of cargo space?
Can the car fit into your garage or parking spot with ease?
Step 2: How much cost do you afford?
Whether you want to purchase or lease the next vehicle, determining a monthly payment that fits into your budget is critical.
What should the price be?
As a general rule, your overall monthly car expenses do not exceed 20% of your take-home pay.
Step 3: Should you buy or lease the next vehicle?
A lease needs little or no upfront cash and has lower monthly payments.
However, when your lease expires, you will be without a vehicle and will need to sell it.
Initially, buying a car is costlier, and monthly payments are higher. However, at the end of the loan, you will own a vehicle that you can keep or sell.
The Benefits of Leasing
• You can drive a more luxurious car for a lower price, and you can get a new car every few years.
• At the end of the contract, there are no hassles for trade-ins.
The Benefits of Purchasing
There are no unexpected mileage fees for increased driving, and you can sell the car whenever you want when interest rates are low.
There is more flexibility—you can sell the car whenever you want.
Step 4: Who/What You’re Transporting?
Is a vehicle for solo commuting in mind, or can the Family Truckster be enough?
If you have children, they might fit in the third row of that midsize SUV today, but they will most likely outgrow it in the future, so saving for a larger SUV with a more spacious third row might be a better choice.
Are there enough places to store car seats, and will they be easy to access, both for installation and for strapping children in?
Is it possible for you and your wife to get in and out of a low-slung sports car comfortably?
If it’s frustrating at first, you’re not going to like it any better a year later. Do you transport customers? You can inspect the back seat of the sedan you’re considering to see if it’s comfortable enough.
You should also think about your cargo. A crew cab pickup could be the best option if your weekdays are spent transporting the kids and your weekends are spent commuting to the home improvement warehouse.
Are you a golfer who spends a lot of time on the course? Check the trunk of that sedan to see if your clubs would suit.
Step 5: What You Can Afford to Give Up
In your car quest, you’ll almost certainly have to make some compromises.
You might consider foregoing the most up-to-date infotainment technology in order to save thousands of dollars by purchasing a used car rather than a new one. If you’re just going to use the third row of seats in a big SUV on occasion, a more fuel-efficient midsize crossover is a better option.
You can also save money by reducing the amount of optional equipment you buy. Instead of spending $2,795 on the minivan’s rear-seat entertainment kit, spend $2,000 on a pair of iPads. Many features can be skipped or purchased from less costly aftermarket vendors.
Step 6. Time for Buying or Leasing
It’s time to become a car buyer or leaser now that you’ve completed your testing, which we hope has given you confidence that you’ve found the right car for you.
One of the most critical tips for buying a car after deciding a budget is to find a right car. Don’t get carried away with the thrill of having your first car. When buying a car, these steps will help you in choosing a right car for you.