Buying a new car is a big step, and there are many factors to take into consideration. For example, what will be the primary use of your new car? Will it be a commuter vehicle, or working vehicle? How many people need to be able to fit comfortably in the vehicle? How long do you plan to own it? These factors and more will affect how you approach your search. By following the steps below, you will be prepared by the time you’re ready to make a decision about your next vehicle.
Evaluate your needs
Everyone would probably enjoy getting the keys to a new, shiny sports car, but is that what will actually suit your needs? Do you have a large family who needs to be able to fit comfortably and safely in the car? Will you be putting lots of miles on the car going back and forth to work? Do you need 4-wheel drive, or the ability to haul large items? How long would you like to own the car before trading it in? Are you willing to consider used cars? Taking an honest assessment of your realistic needs will help you narrow down your search and come up with a few great options that work best for your needs.
Evaluate your wants
Next, consider the nice-to-have features that you would prefer to have in a new car. Features like heated seats, Bluetooth, remote start, back up cameras, a Wi-Fi hotspot, entertainment system, and more are all great to have. Keeping these features in mind will help you narrow down your search and get closer to knowing exactly what you are looking for.
Assess your budget
Cars depreciate in value rapidly. In fact, according to nerdwallet.com, a car’s value decreases about 20-30% by the end of its first year, and about 15-18% in the next five years. For that reason, your best bet is to pay cash up front for the vehicle, so you can avoid interest payments that come with an auto loan. If paying cash isn’t possible, consider how much money you can allocate in your budget each month toward a car payment.
Consider your loan options
At M C Bank, our customers have the opportunity to purchase or refinance a new or used vehicle or motorcycle with a customized auto loan. We offer flexible terms and extremely competitive rates that make it easy and convenient to get on the road. Call today to set up an appointment with one of our Consumer Lenders.
Is leasing right for you?
Leasing is another option when it comes to financing a car. When you lease a car, you pay a monthly fee to drive it for a set period of time. The lease term is often two or four years, and at the end of that time period, you return it to the dealer. Leasing usually comes with a lower down payment and lower monthly payments than when purchasing a car, but there are typically rules included in the lease agreement like mileage requirements and maintenance and servicing requirements that can be costly to maintain.
Find and test-drive the car
Once you narrow down your needs, preferences, and budget you likely have a few cars in mind that could work for you and your situation. The next step is to find the vehicles near you and arrange an appointment for a test drive. During the test drive, make sure to bring your family or anyone who will drive or ride in the car regularly. Check the amount of space and compartments, try all of the features, and ask lots of questions.
Assess the value of your current vehicle
If you currently have a vehicle to trade in, it’s important to assess the trade-in value before you go to the dealership to see how much you could potentially receive if you trade it in. Knowing the value can give you a baseline from which you can assess the offer from the dealer. This money can be put toward your new purchase, so it’s important to consider the value. To get an estimate, visit Kelley Blue Book at kbb.com.
Shop around and review warranties
After all your research, it may be tempting to buy the first car you test drive, but it’s important to shop around and assess other dealers and brands as well. You may be able to get a dealer to price match a quote from a different dealer in order to earn your business. Also, consider the products the dealer will provide after you purchase the car like paint protection, an extended warranty, maintenance, and more. Once you have an idea of everything you will receive for the cost of the car, the best value should be clear.
Once you have taken all of the steps above, you will likely be all set to buy or lease the car that works best for you. All you have to do next is pick the perfect playlist and enjoy the ride.