Buying a car can be complicated, exhausting, but also exciting. A car is likely the second largest purchase you’ll make aside from a home, so it’s important that you know your options going into the process. Here are a few things we recommend that you consider:
It’s reported that six years is the average time that people keep a car. So the car you choose should be practical for daily use in most cases.
How do you typically use your vehicles & what are you planning on using this one for? If you’re someone who hauls building materials, then maybe a truck is right for you. If you’re someone who hauls all the kiddos to practice, maybe something with a third row makes sense.
How much do you drive and in what climates? If you’re in the car a lot either daily or for road trips, a comfortable car is a good choice. Test driving or even getting the car you’re interested in as a rental is a great way to determine whether the car is right for you!
$35,000 is the average cost of a new car and the most common loan term is 60 months (or five years.)
Can I afford this now and later? When we’re talking about such a large purchase it’s helpful to consider it’s affordability not only now, but also over time. Payments are an obvious factor when thinking about affordability. Your insurance can also go up or down depending on the age or trim level of the car. You can call before the purchase to get quotes on how much this might change.
How much will maintenance cost? If the car isn’t covered under the manufacturer’s or an extended warranty, you’ll likely need to pay for repairs and maintenance out of pocket. The cost of service, parts & labor, can fluctuate depending on the make, model, and age of the car. A good gauge is looking at routine costs like an oil change to determine how costly other maintenance will be.
A great way to determine practicality and affordability are by researching on the manufacturer’s or dealer’s website. This will help you get an idea of what features will best suit your every day needs and the cost of the cars you’re interested in. Next steps will be determining your budget and getting pre-approved.