Your Personal Roadmap to Choosing the Right Car

If you are new to buying cars, or it’s been a while since you have done so, it can be a bit tricky to know where to start your search. How can you locate the vehicle that will meet all of your requirements for the next few months or years? It just requires a little bit of research and prep work. When you have decided what kind of vehicle you want to buy, you will then be able to choose whether you want to buy a new car, lease a new car, or buy a used car from a car dealership.

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Consider what you need.

The “right car” for you will be determined by both who you are and what you want out of a vehicle. Some of us like to use our vehicles to convey a certain message.   Some like to go for fun drives on weekends.  In such situations, it is common for functionality to take a back seat to how the car makes the driver feel.

Yet individuals who require a vehicle for their day-to-day responsibilities ought to choose practicality over ostentatiousness. The following are some aspects that should be kept in mind from a practical standpoint:

  • How many people do you need to carry at a time?
  • What kind of driving do you typically engage in? 
  • Do you have a long commute, and as a result, is getting good mileage out of your vehicle vital to you?
  • Do you require a 4-wheel drive?
  • Which characteristics are absolutely necessary for you? Consider features such as a rearview camera, leather seats, music centre, etc.
  • Which aspects of safety do you place the most importance on? Do you want features such as monitoring for blind spots, warnings for leaving your lane, and autonomous emergency braking, for example?
  • What kind of carrying capacity do you require?
  • Will you need space for car seats?
  • Are you planning to tow anything? 
  • How much parking or garage space do you have?

What is your budget?

You will need to give some thought to accessing finance for the purchase or lease of a car unless you plan on paying cash for the vehicle. Don’t forget to keep in mind the additional fuel and insurance costs. It is also a good idea to have a budget in mind for when you are haggling. 

Buy or lease?

Both leasing and purchasing have positive and negative aspects; how you feel about these aspects might play a role in determining which option is best for you.

In a lease, for example, the first payment may be small or even nothing, but the monthly payments are usually lower. However, once the lease is up, you will not have a car anymore, and you will have to start the whole process all over again. On the other hand, purchasing a car has a higher upfront cost and monthly payments than renting a vehicle. But, once you have paid off the loan, you will own a car that is yours, and yours alone, for as long as you want it.