Buying a new car can be a daunting task.
There are various things to take into consideration when shopping for a new car, like fuel economy, safety features, financing options, and more. It is not a decision to be made in haste, and exploring all your options is a time-consuming process.
Buying a car doesn’t have to be stressful, though. Here are four tips to put the pedal to the metal and make your next car-buying experience fast and stress-free:
Determine Your Needs
You know you need a car, but that’s just the beginning. What you need to narrow down is what exactly you need the car for. For instance, if you have to travel for work frequently, you might need a car with an impressive fuel economy. If you reside in an urban area or drive through heavy traffic, you’d probably prefer the latest small car to zip through those congested city streets with ease without sacrificing interior space. Determining what you need the car for is an essential first step in narrowing down your potential car options to research.
Know Your Budget
After deciding what sort of car you need, you should determine which of those cars you can afford. There are a lot of factors to consider that contribute to your budget. If you currently own a vehicle, then you should establish what its trade-in value is. This will knock a few dollars off of the price tag for your new car. In addition to trade-in value, calculate how much you can afford in a down payment or what you will pay the dealership on the day of purchase.
Lastly, know your financing options and what amount you are comfortable making in monthly payments. Being aware of what you can afford in monthly payments will help you determine how much to borrow or your loan amount. Establishing these figures will set the budget for your new car.
Explore Safety Features
It’s easy to get swept up in all the fancy upgrades and shiny new features a new car offers. As the old mantra goes, however, safety first. In New Zealand and Australia alone, someone is seriously injured or killed in a car crash every 15 minutes. Knowing how safe your new car is before you buy it can save your life. The Australasian New Car Assessment Programme independently tests and reports the safety ratings of all vehicles on a scale from zero to five stars based on:
- Protection of adult occupants
- Protection of child occupants
- Protection of vulnerable road users cyclists
- Safety assist features
Scores are determined through various rigorous crash simulations to collect data on how well crash test dummies were protected by the vehicle. Results are published on the website searchable by year, make, and model of the car.
Research Vehicle History
No car will ever go its whole life problem-free. Maintenance costs are just part of car ownership, but they don’t have to come as a surprise. The New Zealand Transport Agency collects and posts data on car recall notices. These reports are searchable on their website by year, make, and model of the vehicle. The older a car is, the more data there is available. However, data from previous models can be used to predict any possible issues you may run into. It is also important to know your warranty information inside and out when purchasing, so you know what it covers.
Car shopping is an intense and sometimes stressful process. Doing your research beforehand helps you skip the buyer’s remorse knowing you made the best decision. Making sure you check these four boxes on your list before buying ensures you will drive off the lot in a new car you’re confident in.