Looking for a new car can be a long process, because – aside from a house – it is likely one of the most expensive purchases you will make in your lifetime, so you need to choose wisely.
Of course, there are a lot of different factors to consider when you are thinking of buying a new car. You will have to work out a budget, decide whether you want a factory-fresh example or a used one, what you will need it for and whether it will cater to lifestyle changes on the horizon.
These factors are made more complex when you consider insurance costs, how many miles you travel on average per year, and how much you are willing to spend servicing it and replacing parts.
Here is how to decide which is the best car for you:
Think about how often you will actually need to drive your car
One factor to consider when buying a car is how often and how far you will need to drive it. If you only commute locally, then owning a luxurious car with a large engine will make little sense. This is especially true if you live in a city, because heavy traffic and air pollution restrictions will make it impractical to drive such a vehicle.
However, if you need to drive long distances regularly, owning a car that is comfortable sitting in on the highway all day long (and in which you are comfortable for a long time), is a requirement. Therefore, calculate your average miles driven per year, in order to arrive at the correct decision.
You will need to consider the cost of insurance
A major hidden cost of owning a car is insurance. People rarely think about the potential insurance cost of the car they want to buy, and it is only when they get close to the sale when they do their due diligence and find out the insurance is higher than they are able to spend.
Don’t let this hold you back. If you’ve only been driving for a few years, for example, don’t waste your time looking at cars with large engine capacities or sporting credentials, especially if you live in a rough neighborhood. While you could find someone willing to sell you the insurance, it could end up costing you more than the car, especially if you’re buying second-hand.
Consider your lifestyle, and what you might be using the car for
Relating to the travel consideration, you will need to assess what type of role you want the car to actually fulfill. If you want to start a family in the near future, buying a cramped, low-slung sports car isn’t the wisest choice, whereas if you live alone then buying an enormous off-roader may be a waste of money.
Taking time to focus on your specific requirements will help you to cut down your options and find the few models that will meet your demands.