A new car is one of the more expensive purchases that any of us makes in our lives. Short of buying a home, a car is likely the largest investment we make. This is why a new car search should be carefully researched and budgeted. Having a clear outline of what you need in terms of size, features, and efficiency can help focus your search to save you time and money.
Be Practical About Your New Car Search
Especially in today’s struggling economy, it is important that most of us in the market for a new car shop for only what we need rather than paying for excessive features that we cannot really use. If you have a large family or are expecting to start one, you can bypass the tempting convertibles, coupes, and sports cars. You should start your new car search by thinking about how you really use your vehicle. Do you haul large equipment or luggage frequently? If so, a spacious trunk should be one of your requirements. Do you drive a lot for work or leisure? If so, perhaps you should consider hybrids and vehicles that get great gas mileage.
These simple requirements and expectations will shorten your list of potential makes and models that you need to pursue. With a shortened list, you can start considering availability, pricing, and test drive performance. The more straightforward your preferences are when you walk into a dealership, the faster your new car search will go and the less likely you are to be swayed by a salesman.
Check Online Vehicle Reviews
To continue your new car search, you can make use of the information available online. Accessing car reviews in online publications as well as posts from individual drivers like yourself can give you more insight as to what makes and models really suit your lifestyle. Reviews can teach you about vehicle safety performance, handling, maintenance issues, and overall value. You may find that one of the cars you are thinking of purchasing does not have a great track record of driving on ice and snow. Your geographical location and road conditions can largely impact your vehicle performance and projected lifetime. The more information you can gather before heading to a dealership, the better prepared you will be to ask questions and be critical as you look at and drive the new cars.
You can also use the Internet to obtain price quotes on the vehicles you are interested in. You should never walk into a dealership with fewer than three quotes in hand. Even if you do not intend on purchasing through the online dealers, the price points give you the necessary knowledge to negotiate in person. You will also know what a reasonable offer is, so you will not get taken advantage of by an aggressive salesman.
Additional Costs: Maintenance and Insurance
One of the biggest advantages about buying a new car is that they tend to come with some form of warranty, which reduces maintenance costs for the initial driving period. You can be confident that a new car is equipped with the best that safety technology has to offer, giving you and your family a certain ease of mind. The disadvantages are that new cars depreciate in value quickly. You will also find that insurance costs are higher for new vehicles than used or second-hand cars. The specifications and features on the model you choose in your new car search will impact your insurance rates so look online for coverage or speak to a local insurance broker for determining what annual fees you can anticipate.
Taking all of these considerations into your new car search will yield the most affordable and satisfactory results. The goal is to find a vehicle that will complement the lifestyle of you and your family without overextending your budget or liability.