Are you currently in the market for a new car? Whether you’re buying your first vehicle or if you’re looking to upgrade, it’s difficult to know where to begin with so many choices at your disposal. So, how exactly do you pick the vehicle that can satisfy your needs and preferences? All it takes is a little research and advanced planning. Here are a few tips to remember when searching for the right car for you:
Visit a car dealership
If you don’t have a specific brand or model in mind, you can pay a visit to a dealership in your area to check their inventory. This is the best way to get a sense of what kind of cars are being offered. Seeing them in person may help you narrow down your choices. You can even schedule test drives if you see one you really want. In Auckland, you can find locations that cater to a host of brands, from Honda car dealers to Holden car dealers.
Evaluate your needs
Function and practicality are more important than the bells and whistles of a car, especially if you’ll need a durable vehicle for your daily commute and to carry out daily errands. Here’s what you need to ask yourself when thinking about your needs:
- How long is your regular commute and is fuel economy a major concern?
- How many passengers will you carry?
- What type of driving will you regularly do? Will it be on surface streets, off-road, or on a highway?
- What are your most important features? For example, leather seats, GPS, backup camera, etc.
- How big is your garage or parking space?
- What safety features will you need? For example, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, etc.
Determine your budget
Obviously, the car you choose has to be a car you can afford, whether you’re purchasing it or leasing it. As a general rule, it’s recommended that your monthly car payments should not exceed 15% of your monthly take-home pay. When it comes to leasing, your monthly payments should be less than 10% of your take-home pay. You should also take into consideration your fuel and insurance costs.
Test drive a car
There may be cars that look like they meet your needs, but feel differently when you actually drive them. It’s important to schedule a test drive with a dealership to get a feel for any car that catches your eye. Maximize your time at a dealership by test-driving at least three vehicles so you can have a range of options to choose from. You can also visit multiple different dealerships to see if they offer different models at different price points.
When test-driving a car, make sure to drive it the way you would in your daily life. If possible, try taking your car on your daily route or at least try to replicate similar situations that you find yourself on a regular basis, like highway speeds or stop-and-go traffic.
Picking the right car for you might seem overwhelming, but if you take the time to do your research and planning, then you’ll have a much easier time.