Buying a car is an important decision that takes time, research and patience, especially if you want the perfect automobile that fits your budget, needs and personal taste.
The Use and Purpose of the Vehicle
The first step is to evaluate your true needs. Be careful to separate these from your wants, which may lead you to purchase a car you cannot afford. This is a large purchase: you need to get it right! So take time to consider the purpose and functionality of the car and whether it will be used for the entire family or just for you. Think about how many passengers will fit in it. Will you use it to drive around your local area, on long trips or the freeway? Will you use the car on a daily basis to commute? Will it be driven during the winter months? Does the car have good fuel economy?
Prior to the Purchase
Before you purchase a new car, you should already know the details of what would work best for you or anyone else who will be driving the vehicle. You should also think about whether you prefer to drive a stick shift or automatic vehicle. You should also look at the various safety features and their importance to you. What kind of parking space do you have for the vehicle? How important is all-wheel drive to you? If you do a lot of road travel with the family, how much cargo space do you need? Never purchase a vehicle on impulse or because you like the way it looks! In making your decision, you should assess the different features that will provide convenience to you and your family and involve them in the pre-purchase discussion.
Financing or Leasing: the Monthly Payment
The next step is to decide if you will consider a loan or pay cash. If you choose to finance or lease, ask yourself how large a monthly payment you can afford. The average consumer spends 11 percent of their gross income each month on car payments, but some financial planners believe it should be closer to 8 percent. Examine your monthly budget closely to determine what works for you, but consider setting a rule to stay below 11 percent of your monthly gross income no matter what. If you’re financing, this monthly payment must include the total amount, including the interest rate you qualify for based on your credit.
While paying cash and financing are the two most common ways to purchase a car, some choose to lease instead. The advantage of leasing is that you may not need a down payment and the monthly payments are typically lower. You would be able to drive a nice, new car every few years, if you desire. However, when the lease is up, you will no longer have the use of the vehicle. Purchasing a vehicle outright is more expensive, and you will pay a higher monthly payment. However, when you have paid off the loan, you will own the vehicle to drive, sell or trade in.
Finding the perfect car is simple if you have a good idea of what you can afford and what you will need to make you comfortable.
This article was written by Vito Sanchez, a car enthusiast who hopes to help you become a better car owner. He writes this on behalf of Deal Finder, your number one choice when looking for the best automotive BDC. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!