Deciding to get a car is an extremely exciting experience. When it comes down to it, there are so many benefits that come hand in hand with having your own set of wheels that, in a way, a whole new world is opening its doors to you. You can travel where you want, when you want. You’re not dependent on public transport timetables, which means no waiting around for trains or buses. You can get straight into your car and be sheltered from the rain and other elements. You don’t have to worry about walking to the station or stop and waiting in the cold. You can carry more luggage without physically bearing the weight yourself. The list goes on and on. You will experience more freedom and have more control over your travel and transport. Of course, a car is likely the second biggest investment you’re going to make in your life. For most people, a car is the second biggest monthly outgoing after their rent or mortgage payment. So, you’re going to want to make sure that you get the right vehicle first time round. This will help you get the most for your money and be truly happy with your purchase. But how can you ensure that you achieve this? Here are some tips and tricks that will help you to land the perfect car to suit all your needs and preferences, whatever they may be.
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How Are You Going to Pay For a Car?
The first important question you need to ask yourself is how are you going to pay for your car? Few people have the money available upfront to buy a car outright, so we will genuinely choose one of a few options. You might want to take out a low interest loan or credit card to pay outright and then chip away at this balance over time. You might want to agree to a finance package, where you make monthly payments to own the car outright. You might want to take out an agreement where you make payments and at the end of your contract, can pay a lump sum to cover the outstanding cost of the car, or can choose to simply return it. You can choose to lease, simply hiring the car for a set period of time.
What Can You Afford?
Next, you need to consider what you can afford. What monthly payments can you commit to without interrupting the rest of your life or struggling financially in other areas? The simple way to figure this out is to create a budget.
- Note down your monthly take home pay
- Deduct essential outgoings (home payments, food, bills, contracted payments, etc)
- Determine what is left, as this is your disposable income
- Decide how much of your disposable income you can commit to a car
Make sure you still have enough disposable income left over to lead a good quality of life. When figuring out car costs, remember you will need to fork out more than the cost of the vehicle itself. You will also need to consider insurance, fuel tax, services, MOTs, cleaning and more.
Where Will You Buy?
Where will you buy your car? There are a number of different ways of going about a car sale. First, you can opt for a dealership that sells new vehicles. This will be the most expensive way to purchase a vehicle, but you can also guarantee that it will be brand new, perfect condition, exactly as you want it and in warranty. A second option is to buy a second hand car from a dealership or an individual, private seller. Here, you need to be careful. If these individuals will offer you a warranty, this is great, as you can see from CARCHEX reviews. You can bag a quality car at a lower cost than new. However, if not, you need to carry out thorough checks to ensure the car is genuinely in good condition. A final option is car auctions. Here, you should still practice caution and ensure the car is in good condition before committing to it.
What Are You Actually Looking For?
Now the basics are under wraps, it’s time to start considering what you’re actually looking for from a car. This will help you to determine what vehicle you will actually enjoy driving and will suit your needs. You want something that will tick as many of your boxes as possible. Here are some boxes to take into consideration.
- Aesthetics – of course, most people will base a large part of their decision on how a car looks. We all have individual preferences and will want something that we actually like from an aesthetic point of view. However, try not to let this override practicalities. You need a car that works for you and any dependents you have, as well as looking good.
- Automatic vs Manual – do you want to drive automatic or do you want to drive manual? Most cars will offer both versions, but some only offer one, so you need to make sure the vehicles you’re looking at have your preferred mode of driving.
- Size – how big do you need your car to be? If you’re single, live alone, rarely drive with anyone else in the car and don’t actually need much space, you could get on perfectly fine with a small, three door vehicle. If you have a large family and pets who need to get in and out of the car and always have luggage with them, you’re going to need something bigger, probably with five doors.
- Features – what features do you want in the vehicle? These tend to be nice-to-haves, rather than essentials, but you should still consider them. Heated seats, air conditioning, heated steering wheels, rear parking sensors, front parking sensors, sunroofs… the potential list goes on.
Buying a car really is a big decision. It may not be a fast one to make, but hopefully, some of the suggestions provided above should help you to come to a conclusion that suits you down to a tee.