Five Questions Smart People Ask Themselves Before Purchasing a Car

Buying a car can be a bit of a minefield, there are so many different things to take into consideration depending on your circumstances and what you want. But wondering round from dealer to dealer with no clear plan or idea in mind is a dangerous game, car salespeople are there to do exactly that- sell you a car. But they’re not the one who has to live with it once the decision has been made, so you need to make sure it’s right for you. Here are five questions to ask yourself before deciding on any car.

Is The Price Right?

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One of the first things to decide when you’re buying a car is how much you have to spend on it. If you don’t have the full amount to buy it outright then there are lots of car finance options, but be sure to work the repayments into your budget to ensure it’s affordable for you. Even if you choose to go down the car finance route, having a deposit to put down is useful. Not only are you more likely to be accepted (an issue if you have previous adverse credit) but you also bring down the cost of your monthly payments. If you already own a car, selling this or even the cost of scrapping it if it’s no good will raise some money to put down on the new one. You shouldn’t just think about the price you can afford, but also what’s suitable for you. If you’ve been driving for years and have a close to perfect driving record, then something more luxurious if you can afford it is no bad thing. If you’re a new driver or have been in a number of incidents, scrapings and other issues since you’ve been driving then a very expensive car might be worth waiting for.

Can I Afford The Running Costs?

As well as the cost of the vehicle, another important thing to take into account is the running costs of the car. This includes things like fuel economy, tax, insurance and repair costs. Before you buy, spend some time looking into these kinds of things so you know what you’re likely to be spending to keep the car on the road. The best ways to avoid expensive repairs is by booking regular services, choose a specialist garage for the best results. For example, if you own a Lexus, companies like Airport Automotive Lexus Services will have all the correct diagnostic equipment, parts and everything else making it quicker and easier. To keep fuel costs low, you could adjust your driving style, plan routes efficiently and even offer to carpool and drive others at your job to work with you so you can split the price of fuel. There are ways to bring running costs down, but you need to be aware of how much it’s all likely to cost you.

Does it Have Sufficient Safety Features?

Safety features are a concern for all of us, in the event that we end up in an accident we want to know that we have the best chance of survival. But for some people, safety features will be one of the main things to look for in a car. If for example you’re buying a family car to ferry your baby or young children around, safety features might come ahead of everything else. As a rule, the newer the car the better the safety technology, but there are aftermarket items you can purchase to make any model safer. Spend some time looking into the different features cars these days offer and which you would most like to have in your vehicle. That way you can work backwards and find something that fits your budget.

What Size Vehicle Do I Need?

Another important thing to consider when you’re buying a car is the size. As a rule, smaller cars are cheaper to insure and cost less in fuel, so if it’s mainly you that drives on your own (perhaps you just need a runaround to get to work and run errands) then a small hatchback might be for you. If you have a larger family, you will need to make sure you have enough seats for all car seats and booster seats that you need, perhaps space for kids friends and family members and other people you taxi around on a regular basis. Maybe your lifestyle means you need space in the boot for dogs, bikes, pushchairs, large grocery shops or anything else. If so something with plenty of space in the back or seats that fold down would be a good option. If you’re in and out of the back of the car a lot for kids, pets or passengers, a five door model will probably make life easier. If it’s just you, a little three door will probably suffice. Decide if you want a hatchback, a saloon, an SUV, MPV or something else entirely and go from there. It’s a crucial thing to work out when it comes to buying a car, or you risk running out of space or paying over the odds for a big car that you don’t need.

Do I Like The Design?

While design might seem like the least important thing when it comes to a car, actually it’s what most of us are most concerned with. Aesthetics might not affect how good the vehicle is, but we all want to drive a car that we’re happy to be seen getting in and out of. Once you have your budget in place, you could go through a car selling website and pick out all of the makes and models that you like the look of and then see how much running costs, insurance, safety features and everything else will be. That way you can create a shortlist, and ensure the car that you whittle down to has everything that you want. While design shouldn’t be your main reason for choosing a car, it’s not to say you have to completely compromise and buy something that looks awful either! Check out things like the interior, what different colour choices look like and everything else before making your decision. It needs to be right seeing as most of us have our cars for many years.

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About Sean Mackay

Sean writes about cars, golf and events going on in British Columbia, Canada. He is also the editor for The Automotive Review - an automotive publication bringing a West Coast flavour to its editorials.
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