10 things to consider when buying a car

Buying a car can be both an exciting and anxious time in your life. These are 10 things to consider when buying a car so you will be pleased with it.

Concentrate on the Details and Make a Great Buy
Buying a car can be both an exciting and anxious time in your life. It doesn’t have to be if you plan out this adventure like any other major decision. Once you have all of the details out in front of you then you can make a good choice. These tips will get you started, reduce your anxiety and help you have a great car-buying experience.

1. Planning Reduces the Risk of an Emotional Purchase
Buying out of emotion is a sure way to have buyer’s regret. Do the planning and the legwork to have all of the details in front of you before you walk onto a dealership. You’ll have ammunition then to counter the salesman who approaches you and says “You would look really good in this car!”

2. Match the Car to Your Needs
Are you single, 25 and in graduate school working on a PhD in anthropology? Or are you married with three kids, a dog, and a love for weekend camping trips? Decide what you want the car to do for you and make a list of features that are “must haves.”

3. Luxury or Utility?
Do you need a pickup truck to pull a camper or a sedan for those family Sunday drives? They both have different roles so you’ll want the one that works best for you.

4. Gas, Hybrid or Electric?
Hybrids have become popular, and all-electric cars are just becoming affordable. These green vehicles can save you on fuel, but they are more expensive to maintain and we don’t really know what their life expectance is.

5. New or Used
How long will you keep the car? How many miles do you drive each year? Most people don’t keep their cars to the end of the car’s life, so you can still get many miles out of most used cars. You may have to put up with a few worn spots and you should plan to have any used car thoroughly inspected. If a four-year old car still seems like a new one to you, then you could save money and have a nice set of wheels for several years.

6. Get Insurance Quotes
Before you buy any car, check on the insurance rates first. There may be something unique about the car that causes it to have a higher, or lower, than average premium. A poor service record or high incidence of auto theft could drive the insurance rates up.

7. Check on Your Financing
Determine what your options are for financing. Your bank, a dealership and a third-party will all have different rates and payment options. Determine what your budget is for buying a car based on these options and stick to that.

8. Drive Before You Buy
Make sure you sit in the car, adjust all of the controls and drive it before making a decision. A seat that doesn’t support your back or knobs and buttons that are hard to reach will become annoying soon after you buy the car.

9. Find Reviews from Other Customers
You should be able to find customer reviews online for any car. Every car has little quirks but most are things you can easily deal with.

10. Sleep On It
You’ve found the perfect car for you on a dealer’s lot. Now go home and compare your experience of the car with all of your notes and research. If you’re still happy with it the next morning, then you’ve done a good job of preparing for your next car purchase.

Buy with Confidence
With planning and by following these steps, you’ll buy the right car that will give you years of happiness. Don’t skimp on the legwork and make an emotional purchase. You’ll have a car in the driveway that will just remind you of a poor decision for the length of your loan or lease.