It is indisputable that all people desire to own a car that is flashy on the exterior and interior yet fit for their personal needs. Over the decades, a variety of car manufacturers have been established and the models that are available in the market are exceedingly many. With such a wide array to pick from, individual desire and logic have to play a gigantic role so as to get optimal value for the money spent. With the sole objective of making this possible for everyone, here is a well thought out and detailed guide to help prospective buyers in choosing the right car.
1. Make a good plan for the desired car
For many humans, cars are the second largest investment they make in their lifetime. This, therefore, calls for adequate preparation both mentally and physically. In making the arrangement, logic has to overshadow emotions though it does not mean that feelings should be totally disregarded. The maximum number of passengers should be considered. It would be very unwise to select a small car for a large family, for example. All the passengers need to be comfortable during travel. Additionally, the ages of the children that a car is expected to carry matters because children’s car seats need space and money for installation. Different automobiles are crafted to serve varied functions. The cargo capacity must thus meet the needs of the user. Another vital aspect to consider is the parking space available for the vehicle, more so within homes. Larger cars demand for bigger parking lots. The use of the car in terms of the distance covered daily must not be overlooked as it determines the fuel economy. The prospective buyer has to know the coverage so as to set aside enough amounts of money for fuel and other car expenses. Thorough research of all requirements that must be in place and the diverse models available prior to making a car purchase also helps in making the right choice of car. The plan must be elaborate which will help in narrowing down to the most suitable car type.
2. Create an appropriate budget for the car
This, as earlier highlighted, is a huge investment so it is important to make the right decision based on the need. The budget for the car should be within one’s financial means. Having a particular type of car in mind will enable one to make an estimate of what it would cost before hand. This kind of mental preparedness is important in keeping focus of the amount that one is willing to spend and not be distracted much by the demands of others. For those planning to buy a car on hire purchase, the monthly installments should be well thought out. As a general rule, an installment should not exceed 20% of the monthly income. The insurance cost, which is dependent on the region’s regulations, must also be factored in the budget. The higher the initial cost of the car, the higher the price of insurance. New cars also incur higher insurance costs compared to second-hand vehicles. Other expenses like fueling and servicing must also be included in the budget. Some people opt to take loans for vehicle purchase. If that is the case, the prospective buyer must be sure that their credit history is good because it affects loan approval. Through intensive research, a buyer can ascertain whether the cost indicated for an automobile is worth the features it presents. When doing so, the car brand must be considered because renowned manufacturers that have been in existence for a long time often use their name that is linked to class and style to set the car retail costs.
3. Taking a car on lease or buying one
Leasing a car essentially means taking it on rent for a particular period of time. Buying, on the other hand, refers to owning the car completely. Each of the ways of acquiring a car has its merits and limitations. Car leasing allows an individual to drive a car at a much lower cost compared to buying. It also allows for use of flashy and high-end machines at a cheap price that would otherwise be impossible to buy. However, freedom of use is repressed because upon exceeding a stated mileage, supplementary costs are incurred. The person owning it on lease is also not permitted to make any alterations on the car unless the authentic owner has made an approval. Buying involves an initial high charge but compared to leasing, it is cheaper in the long run. Other advantages of purchasing a car are that the vehicles are available in a wide range of colors to choose from and the buyer can modify them to match their needs. There is also the liberty to sell car of it no longer pleases the owner. Although both buying and leasing have their unique ups and downs, the hopeful buyer must weigh each very keenly before making a selection.
4. New or used car?
This is a question that bothers many potential car buyers. While the amount of money available sets the ultimatum, there are other aspects to consider. One of them is the warranty issued for a specific type of car. Renowned car manufacturers give a guarantee of up to five years. Buying a used car that has surpassed the warranty years is a risk. The rate of depreciation is also elemental because no one wants a car that will become scrap after a few uses. In the event that a used car is needed, the history report must be made available. The buyer should do a test drive and check that all said features available, as well as order for an expert pre-inspection service. It is also crucial to ascertain that the seller is honest and reliable and that the sale amount can be negotiated. New cars often require loans so an individual must be sure that their loan will be approved before commencing the search for a car. The use and capacity of the car must be taken to account. Second hand cars, for example, may offer models with enhanced engines and cargo capacity that may be very expensive to afford if brand new.
5. Explore the types of cars available on the market
Usually, a prospective buyer has a specific car type in mind. Being adamant to change is detrimental in car selection. In the market, there are normally close rivals to a certain car model. In most cases, the features are almost similar but the manufacturers are different. It is likely that some of the features are better reinforced in one model compared to its close rivals. This step demands a lot of research which can be done online, through reviews from friends and family and seeking for professional guidance. The specifications of each car should be evaluated against the cost and maintenance. Both the exterior and interior design must be pleasant to the buyer as well. On that note, there is a requirement to recognize that some car models are only available in specific parts of the world. A buyer must, therefore, investigate whether their dream car model is accessible within their local market.
6. Analyze the Safety Features of the Car
Protection when using a car is one of the greatest aspects to be on the look out for. In the recent past, all vehicle manufacturers have engaged in a continuous run for fitting better safety features in their productions. The buyer has to ascertain that the car has an active braking system as well as functional emergency brakes. Additionally, the car’s lights must be working efficiently because they are the main channels of communication with other drivers on the road. The air bags also have to durable and properly fitted including those at the knee point. All seat belts must be available and their locks have to open and close without strain. The head restraints, which are very important, must be available and in good shape. The car’s stability, traction and cruise control must be in order and the presence of a lane watch assistance system would be added benefit. The steering wheel should be adjustable for the user to set it in a way that makes them feel comfortable while driving. The presence of a blind spot warning structure is necessary too. All drivers must also be properly trained and licensed to drive before attempting to buy a car.
7. Consider the car’s support system
All buyers are not all knowing with regard to a given car model. There are some functions that may not be very clear or may even be undiscovered. The dream car should come with a user manual that the buyer must read and refer to when need arises. Manuals are there to ensure that the car is used appropriately so it is wrong to assume that all cars function in the same way. Another support system that should be present is the availability of the dealer for consultation in case of anything. The dealer agency must have experts who can be reached to provide assistance or to offer professional counsel to the buyer. In the wake of increased fraudulent activity, the buyers must prove that the agent is genuine. Furthermore, the warranty provided by the manufacturer should last long with up to five years being the recommended time frame. The buyer should make a point of knowing where the manufacturer is located in their region in the event that something goes ill and needs their attention.
8. Evaluate the availability of the car parts and the required maintenance services
Normally, cars require regular servicing. These include changing the car fluids, battery, air filters among others. The wheels are also checked for alignment, pressure, balancing and rotation. This is done to ensure that damage of the car does not occur and that the user is safe. The car type that is selected must have easily accessible spares and at an affordable price. The maintenance services should also be pocket friendly. In the case of damage that necessitates replacement of the major parts, the local service agents should have them in stock and possess the expertise to conduct repairs.
9. Do a test drive
This step is mandatory before buying any car. To achieve this, the prospective buyer ought to schedule a test drive date with the dealer so that proper planning is done. Normally, it is recommended that the booking be done via electronic methods like e-mail. The service providers assigned to deal with customers online are normally aware that the buyer is well informed and are thus better able to handle clever clients. It is also a faster method to make the schedule. On the actual date of the test-drive, the buyer should take on the steering wheel to ensure that all parts are functional, especially the brakes. The drive should be done on different terrains and the fuel consumption on each different road ought to be noted. During the ride, it is important to turn off the music system so as to listen to the engine keenly as various roads are tested. The buyer should take their time to inspect the car and not be pushed to hurry by the service agent. Additionally, the agent should control the car for a while as the buyer is sitting at the rear side to ensure that the back seat passengers are comfortable. The cargo space must also be checked upon as well as other interior and exterior features over the testing duration. If the dealer prompts a buyer to make a purchase, the buyer should state that they are still on the deliberation table to avoid making hurried decisions. If the car does not meet the expected standard, do not buy it.
10. Make the purchase
The final step in choosing the right car is buying it and driving it home. This is bound to be a very exciting day but a conscious mind is called for. When making the purchase, be 100% sure that the dealer is authentic and reliable to avoid a case of being swindled. Before handling over the cash or cheque, all paperwork should be complete, duly signed and stamped. Each of the parties must have a copy of the agreement document and the buyer must attentively read and understand the terms and conditions. If needed, a third party to serve as a witness to the purchase should avail themselves at the agreed time. If making the purchase using cash in hand, it is important to be extremely cautious and handle the money well so as no to be robbed off. Where possible, avoid carrying cash in hand and use other means, for example, writing a cheque. If the car is to be owned through hire purchase, the monthly installments should be made clear to both the parties. The specified amount of money for the month should always be deposited on time as agreed. After taking the vehicle with you, always remember to take good care of it for optimal performance.