9 Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Your Next Car

Buying a car is an important decision. After all, a car costs a lot of money, so ideally, you would be able to drive it for a few years without needing a new one. However, if you’re making such a big commitment, it’s vital that you choose the right car.

You might be asking yourself how exactly you’ll know when you’ve found the right car, and we’re here to help with that. We’ll be guiding you through a few questions that will help you determine what to look for in your next car.

Do you have a specific car in mind?

Start off by deciding if you want a specific make of car. The “make” of the car essentially refers to its brand, so the company that the car is made by. Some people have a favorite make of car. If you’ve found one that works for you, you should stick to it and try to find a local dealership with that make. For example, if you specifically want a Volvo, you can look for a Volvo in Arizona. You may even be more specific than that and decide that you want a specific model of car.

Do you want a new or secondhand car?

When it comes to car-buying, both new and secondhand cars have their pros and cons. For example, a new car won’t have any previous damage . . . but a secondhand car will be much cheaper.

For many, this decision is already made; not everyone can afford a new car. If you do decide to go the secondhand route, be sure to have the car properly checked out. You should also try to avoid buying a car that has been in an accident.

What is the purpose of the car?

A car’s purpose will greatly determine what type of car you want. For example, if you need a car to transport heavy goods, a small hatchback likely isn’t the perfect car for you.

Someone who is single and trying to save money will want a very different car from someone who has a large family. You might also be looking to buy a commercial vehicle for your business. Deciding on your car’s purpose will help you to quickly eliminate certain cars.

What’s your budget?

As mentioned, buying a car is a big financial expense. While you may be tempted to buy your dream car, it’s not a good idea to do that if you can’t afford it. When it comes to buying a car, it’s always a good idea to aim for the lower end of your budget, in case anything should happen. You should also set up your budget before you start looking so that you don’t get your hopes up only to learn that you can’t afford a car.

Will you be buying it alone?

Maybe your parents are financing your car, or maybe you and your partner will be sharing the car. if that’s the case, you need to consider their opinions as well.

Of course, if you will be paying for the car on your own, and you will be the only one driving it, you don’t need anyone else’s advice. That being said, we do recommend taking someone along for a second opinion, especially if you’re new to car buying.

You can ask a trusted family friend, or ask your mechanic to have a look. You can even ask them to test drive the car for you, although it’s important that you test drive it yourself as well. You can learn more about test driving a car here.

Will you be using a dealership?

Whether you use a dealership or not is a matter of personal preference. It’s still a good idea to decide on this beforehand. Once again, both dealerships and private sales have things that count in their favor.

Private sales are often cheaper, but you could also be scammed much easier. With a dealership – especially a reliable one – you will know that you are getting all the information you need upfront. It’s also often easier to get financing for your vehicle if you buy through a dealership since most private sales require a cash buyer.

What are your safety requirements?

It goes without saying that safety should be something you look for in any car, but some people may require higher safety levels than others. Some people may be happy with a car that has only seatbelts.

Others, however, may wait until they find a car with airbags or other safety measures in place. Making sure that a car is safe is even more important if it’s a family car.

How many people will be using the car regularly?

If it’s mostly just you driving the car, you can get a small car with no worries. But if you have a big family who will often be crammed into one car, you should certainly take a car’s size into consideration.

People with really big families and only one car may need to look at options like minivans. Seating space also isn’t all that matters – you need to be sure that you can fit school bags, sports bags, and work briefcases in the car. If your family regularly goes on vacation, then the more packing space, the better.

Do you have any specific requirements?

Finally, is there anything non-negotiable that you need in a car? Try to think of your ideal car, and make a list of what it needs to have. We’re not talking about luxuries here, such as having seats that warm up, but rather practical necessities.

For example, if you live somewhere very warm, an aircon may be something you can’t give up – it can get very hot inside a car, and we’re sure you don’t want heat stroke. Some people may also not be able to drive a manual car, and thus the car you choose will need to be automatic. Making a list like this will help you narrow down your options.

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