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Buyer Tips

12 Steps to Choosing the Right Car for You

By Mike Richards Updated: 04/18/2020 Posted: 01/20/2019

When you ask for an opinion about a car you would like to buy, you will likely find it difficult to get a simple and straightforward answer. This is because every car has its positive and negative aspects. No car is perfect and ideal for everyone. This can be a little confusing, especially for a first-time car buyer.

To help you make your decision, you should have a list of things you expect from the car. For example, is advanced technology a vital component in the car? More recent car models have advanced technological features compared to the older versions. The downside is the cost of the car may be higher. You need to decide which option you are willing to forgo. Are you ready to pay more to drive a car that has all the features you want? Here is our guide to choosing the right car for you.

1. Which is Your Preferred Transmission?

This is a critical consideration. Some cars come with the option of either manual or automatic transmission. Other models are available with a manual transmission while others only have the automatic transmission. If you cannot drive a stick shift, you have no choice but to consider cars that have the automatic transmission.

If you have no problems driving either kind of transmission, you need to consider where you will be driving the car. For example, driving a stick shift in the city can be overwhelming, especially if traffic congestion is a daily occurrence.

2. What are the Safety Ratings of the Car?

Has the car undergone safety tests? What were the findings? When buying a car, the last thing on your mind is being involved in an accident. However, should this happen, how much protection will you get from the car? Even if this is not a priority, if you are interested in the reliability of the car, checking the crash tests results is a great place to start. The IIHS and NHTSA give comprehensive findings.

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3. How Much Cargo Space Do You Need?

Cars come with various cargo spaces. If you hardly carry anything in your boot, this should not be a priority. However, if you are running a business and will be moving products, you need adequate cargo space. For example, if you regularly have large supplies, you may consider getting a pick-up truck. This will help you narrow down the list of cars you need to consider.

4. What is Your Priority, Engine Power or Fuel Economy?

Some high performing cars have better fuel efficiency compared to other cars in the same category. However, fuel consumption in these cars is still relatively higher than in cars with lower engine power. V6 engines come with excellent power, yet, one has to compromise on fuel economy. Most sedans and SUVs that come with 4-engine cylinders have superior fuel efficiency but do not have the engine power of the V6. If you are making regular long commutes, the fuel economy of the car may need to be in your list of priorities.

5. How Many Passengers Will You be Carrying?

This is a very important consideration. It makes the elimination process much easier. You need to consider the interior space when picking a car for more than two people. It would be best to get a car with adequate leg room to ensure everyone in the car is comfortable, especially during a long drive.

6. Where Do You Drive Most?

Before choosing the right car, it is essential to consider the surface of the roads. Do you intend to drive on rough terrain? If so, you will need a car that is an excellent off-roader. Should you opt for a car that is not, it will be hard hit, which will result in high maintenance costs. It would also help if you considered your safety. If you will be on the highway a lot, you may need to be more concerned about the safety and reliability of the car.

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7. What is Your Budget?

Your budget may be quite restrictive on the type of car you will buy. You may be considering a luxury car, but if your budget does not allow you to get one, you may need to downgrade to a car you can afford.

8. Do You Have a Specific Car in Mind? Consider Other Cars in the Same Category

If you already have your mind set on a particular car, you should take the time to look at other vehicles in the same class. This may confirm your decision or cause you to reconsider based on your findings.

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9. Would You Like a New or Used Car?

Your budget may influence your decision on whether you can afford a new car or a used one. Sometimes it is not just about how much you can afford to spend, but your preference. If you would like to buy a used car, your search will be narrowed to areas where you can get used cars such as online auction sites.

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10. Have You Checked the Reviews on the Car?

One way of finding out if a car is right for you is by looking up what the experts and consumers have to say about the car you are considering buying. Checking the consumer car reviews may confirm you have made the right choice or cause you to take a step back and check for alternatives if the car has received lots of negative reviews. Sometimes, it is best to use another person’s experience with the car instead of going through the challenges other users have had.

11. Compare Prices from Different Sources

Before paying for the car you have chosen, it would be best to compare the price from different sources. This way you can buy from a source offering you the best deal. For example, used car dealerships have different offers on various models of cars.

12. Take the Car for a Test Drive

Once you have chosen a car, you should request to take it for a test drive. This is an excellent way of finding out the condition of the car. You will also confirm how it feels driving the car and if you will be comfortable driving it after purchasing it.

These are some of the steps that will help you make up your mind on the right car for you. It is easy to get it wrong when buying a car. However, with the right guide, the process is much easier and enjoyable.