5 Things to Consider Before You Buy a New Car


Buying a new or new to you vehicle can be a truly exciting venture. Typically, it's no small purchase, and when it comes down to choosing the right car, it's not something folks take lightly. Most car owners save for months before buying a new car, and there are also those who purchase a newer vehicle out of necessity. No matter which situation applies to you, you've probably given a lot of thought as to the type of car you want to look for, but there are a few things you might want to consider before you head to the dealership to look around and take a test drive.


#1: Who will use the car the most?

Is this car going to be used primarily for work? Is this a family car which you'll use to cart your kids around in? Will you be doing a fair amount of traveling in the new car? These are all important questions to answer before you sign papers. Buying a sporty car might make you feel amazing, but if it isn't practical for your current lifestyle or situation, it just doesn't make sense to buy a car that isn't a good fit. I mean, I want Iron Man's Audi, but I have two kids, so... yeah.

#2: What types of features are 'must-haves'?

When I started to look for a new car, pretty much all modern car tech was new to me. Our last new car was baseline and had zero bells and whistles. Our newest car has it all, and I'm still getting used to using a back-up camera. Do you want to be able to call from the car? Will you want heated seats? Does the type of interior matter?  These are all things to make note of before you start shopping around. I found it super helpful to make a wishlist of things that would be nice to have, but wouldn't make or break a deal. I also made a list of things I really needed the car to have- for my family's comfort and safety, and those were the non-negotiables.

#3: Is it comfortable?

You can have an amazing looking car, but still, feel awful driving it. My husband and I have completely different needs and like when driving. Since our newest car would be the car we used for travel, the car needed to be comfortable for both of us. Finding a car that had comfortable bucket seats that had two auto-presets was fantastic. With the push of a button, the car adjusts the seat to the correct position and height for the driver. This saves us so much time when switching drivers, and it also makes the driver's seat comfortable for quick trips across town or long trips. Sometimes those little features really do make a big difference.

#4: Up or down?

Do you like to sit up off the ground when you drive, or do you like to sit lower? There are many people who choose to go with SUVs, not just for added cabin space, but also because they prefer sitting up high. I prefer sitting lower to the ground because I feel like I have more control over the car when I can feel the road. It does come down to personal preference on this one, but you'll probably want to have this figured out before you start looking at cars. If you don't feel entirely comfortable sitting up high, but still want to consider an SUV, definitely test drive a few of them to see which ones you feel the most comfortable driving.

#5: Cost of maintenance

You can get a great deal on a new vehicle and feel like you're saving a bunch of money- but if you haven't checked into the car's maintenance schedule and how much regular services and repairs cost, you could be in for a bit of a shock if something goes wrong. There are some makes and models which have known problems once you hit a certain mileage, so be sure to do your research and know what those possible problem areas might be. My husband and I like to research when our cars will need 'big services' and go ahead and budget for those. We don't like to fall behind on maintenance, because doing so could just lead to problems down the road. Even if you find a great deal on a car, if you can't afford to maintain it, it's really not worth the purchase. Go with something you know you'll be able to make your payments on, and also something that will be easy on your wallet to maintain.





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