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Shopping for a New Car: Important Things You Need to Keep in Mind

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There are hundreds of millions of car owners in the world, and you probably either already have a car or you will be shopping for a new car soon. When shopping for anything, you should have the basics down of what you are looking for, what you aren’t looking for, pitfalls to avoid, and so on.

Most of these are common sense and not exactly insider secrets, but often they are the most obvious things that somehow completely escape us and catch us unaware. No problem; here is a quick guide to get you started on finding that beautiful new ride, including the important things you need to consider when shopping for a new car.

A brand new white Range Rover people can look at when shopping for a new car.

What Type of CAr Do You Want?

The first and most obvious question you should answer is what exactly are you looking for? Or, rather, what do you need? Knowing what you want before you start looking can save you a lot of time. Whether you are interested in a specific car, like a Bronco, or whether you are looking for a brand like Ford or Chrysler and then narrowing it down from there, no matter the brand, it doesn’t matter.

Figure out exactly what you need, and what you would like, and you will have a good basis to get started. To find this out, ask yourself some questions. For example:

  • What purpose does most of your driving serve?
  • What are you most interested in, including style, size, mileage, comfort, etc.?
  • How long are you expecting to keep the car?
  • How often do you think you will be driving it?
  • Will it be your main car or your second car?
  • What will it be used for – errands and shopping or work?
  • Will it be taken on long trips where space for luggage is necessary, or will you primarily be just cruising around town?

Be honest about both your wants and your needs to help you find that sweet balance between the two that is comfortable for you. 

Your Budget

Next step when shopping for a new car is to figure out your budget. While we would all love to speed off in a Mustang or a Lamborghini, sadly, for the overwhelming majority of us, we have to look for a vehicle more within our budget.

Begin by assessing your overall finances, which includes your monthly expenses, income, and all current loans in your name. A spreadsheet or list with all these amounts tallied up together can give you the quick overview you need and help you judge whether your finances are healthy or not.

Be sure you take into consideration the cost of car insurance, necessary regular car maintenance such as oil changes and tire care, and the cost of fuel.

If your financial position is healthy enough that you could buy a car with cash, that is fantastic, and you have a solid budget to work with. Otherwise, vehicle financing might be an option for you if all else fails.

Fuel Consumption

Depending on the country you are in, the fuel consumption of the vehicle is perhaps the number one priority on your buyer’s list, and as fuel prices soar daily, there is good reason. It is only smart to be fully aware of how much fuel your car will consume before making any decision.

So, what are your options here? Well, this largely depends on where you live, but generally, the two most readily available fuel types are diesel and gas. Gasoline cars have higher fuel consumption than diesel, while diesel is much more expensive than gas, but since diesel consumes less fuel, it can be more cost-effective to drive.

If you generally drive short distances, say to and from work, school, and the like, a gas car will prove a very viable option. But if you find yourself driving long distances across the country, from city to city, regularly, then a diesel car will probably suit your needs more.

If you live in a more modern country or city, a completely different option might be an Electric Vehicle (EV), like a Tesla. Admittedly, these cars are far more expensive, especially when considering the high import tax, but on the flip side, they are much more cost-effective to run per mile, provided you can find charging stations so you can keep it charged to drive again.

A man behind the steering wheel of a car

Test Drive

Once you have your budget and you know the type of car you want, it is time for a little test drive. Taking a test drive is imperative when shopping for a new car journey. You need to see whether everything is in order and to get a feel for how the vehicle drives, if you are comfortable driving it, if it has enough space to your liking, and whether it meets all your requirements.

Even if you are shopping for a second-hand car, you need to take it for a test drive because the amount of problems that can go wrong inside the car while it still looks great on the outside is ridiculously large. Pay close attention to any noticeable rattles or squeaks, check whether all the buttons and indicators are working smoothly, and ensure that the windshield wipers are completely functional. Also, on starting up the engine, be sure to give it a good rev to make sure there aren’t any knocking noises.  

Buying a new car is no small undertaking, and before you make any decision, you want to be sure that you have gone over all the necessary details, questions, and filters beforehand. Take your time, know what you want, and what you can afford, and always check everything, double-check everything, and get the best car for you.

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