Shopping for a new car is an immensely invigorating experience. The thought of driving a new set of wheels appeals to some inner part of our being. Whether you are buying one out of necessity, or out of a need to match your growing financial fortunes, the options will be abundant either way.
The high end of the market is well catered to, as are the midrange and the budget segments. Thanks in part to flourishing car finance deals, any car model you wish can be yours. Before you go driving off the dealers with a sports coupe though, there are some considerations you should make.
The Art of Car Buying
Buying a car is an art. The abundance of options certainly necessitates some research. Ideally, the car that you go for should serve a practical purpose above all else. When narrowing down your search, here are the things you should look for.
Type of Car
Do you need a minivan, a saloon, or perhaps a full-size SUV? This is where it all starts. Identifying the kind of car you need, based on the needs that it is intended to serve, will help you cast your net where it really matters.
If you care for fuel economy, the drive train should be second on your list. The engine is the heart of the vehicle, and it decides things such as speed and pulling power. Small units, typically with displacements starting from 1.6l and below will not cost much to run. 2.0l-2.4l engines offer you decent economy and power. If you go for any bigger configurations, your fuel expenditure will be significant.
Safety and Reliability
These ratings are easily accessible, and the enlighten you on which cars have the best rankings. Safety features such as forward-collision mitigation and lane departure warning are continually becoming standard in recent models. Ensure the car you go for has enough safety features to afford you some peace of mind. Reliability will help you predict how long the car will endure without developing faults. Cars with high reliability will basically cost you less to maintain.
It’s good to be particular about the manufacturer to ensure spare part access and repair centers will be easy to find. There isn’t one best automaker because of the variability witnessed in models released in different years. Generally speaking, Japanese cars rank high in reliability while European ones perform better and have more luxury features (all for a higher cost, of course). When narrowing down on the automaker, make your judgments based on specific model years.
Interior and exteriors shouldn’t play the deciding role, but they should nonetheless be considered. Backup cameras, heated seats and comprehensive infotainment systems are becoming more desirable to have.
Calculating the ownership cost will help you decide if the car is right for you. Insurance, maintenance, fuel and depreciation rates should all be included. There are online calculator tools available to help you do the math.
The purchase cost of the car matters, and is ultimately, the biggest deciding factor. There are many car finance deals that can help you afford a particular car. Regardless, you should only go for the car that you can comfortably buy and own, the availability of financing notwithstanding.