Buying a car is a huge choice that needs to be taken seriously if you want to ensure that you get the best deal and that you don’t end up wasting your money. Of course, there are already plenty of guides on how to pick a vehicle but they often go into far too many specific details for it to be a general guide that everyone can appreciate. So in this long post, we’re going to cover some of the most practical tips you can follow in order to pick the right car for your needs and your family.
Considering the price of new vs used
Buying a new or used car is one of the biggest considerations that we have to make when purchasing a vehicle. There are advantages to both, but we’re going to give the basic rundown of why and when you should purchase new or used.
New cars are typically cheaper in the long-run because they’re equipped with better safety and security features, their insurance costs are often lower because the cars are new and they usually come with excellent 0% financing deals. However, new cars are often equipped with configurations that can’t be changed much, meaning that if you’re looking for specific car modifications you might be out of luck unless you’re willing to take your vehicle immediately to a mechanic. This could include adding new stereo systems or electronics to the vehicle to make it more personalised. Other cost savings include better fuel efficiency which means fewer refills and more stable and newer parts which mean less chance of a breakdown which could cost a lot of money or disrupt your lifestyle.
On the other hand, older cars are cheaper as an initial purchase but can typically be more expensive as you use them. This is because the parts are more likely to be worn out and the mileage can increase the chances of the car breaking down. In addition, older cars typically have poor fuel economy which means you’ll be spending more money on the vehicle just to keep it running. Repairs can also be expensive if the car is too old to have regular parts and replacements in stock, and you might experience higher insurance premiums because of the outdated safety and security systems.
In short, buying a new car means a higher initial investment for lower running costs and a user car means lower initial cost with higher running costs. Both of them have advantages and disadvantages, so it’s up to your budget and income to decide which is best.
Picking a car for family needs
Another factor to consider is what your family needs. For instance, if a member of your family uses a wheelchair, then a car with wheelchair access becomes incredibly important. Finding wheelchair friendly vehicles is easy if you’re willing to look around for services that modify vehicles for your needs, but you can also outright buy a vehicle that has already been modified for wheelchair use. These can be a little more expensive than purchasing the car and then modifying it afterwards, but it’s a lot less hassle and can be very convenient if the price isn’t a huge concern for you.
You should also consider things like how often you’ll be driving your family, how many family members you’ll be driving and so on. These are factors that should be easy to take into consideration as most cars are advertised as having a certain number of seats. You should also think about the size of the trunk in the event that you’ll be using the vehicle to move home in the future or even just to buy a lot of groceries for a big family.
In short, don’t neglect to think about your family and their needs if you’re buying a family car. Of course, if you’re only purchasing a car for yourself and your partner and you don’t plan to have children, then you could always think about what you might need to ferry your family members and friends around.
If you have time, request a test drive
Most used and new car companies will offer you a test drive to ensure that you and the car are a good fit. Every car feels different and the features will all be in different locations, meaning that it’s a good idea to drive around in your chosen vehicle for a bit before making a decision. Test drives are a fantastic way to get a good feel for the car and if it’s something that you plan to use for at least half a decade, then you’ll absolutely want to ensure that it’s the perfect fit for your needs.
When going for a test drive, do a couple of practice actions such as opening the trunk, moving the seats around and even testing the features to ensure that you’re purchasing a car that is suited to your needs. Test drives are a must for anyone that’s looking to squeeze out every bit of value from their car purchase, so create a shortlist and book a test drive in advance to make sure that you and your vehicle of choice are a good pairing.
Don’t neglect to do your research
While you might think that you’re well-informed by simply reading a couple of reviews in a magazine, it’s vital that you go the extra mile and look up specifications and do a bit of research to learn about the car in more detail. You should consider looking up online communities that own the vehicle or at least have driven it to see what they think about it. This is a great way to get more opinions about a vehicle so that you can guarantee that the car you’re purchasing is worth your money.
While a car can seem like a fantastic deal on paper, it could turn out to be unpleasant to drive or there could be a whole group of owners that are dissatisfied with the performance after a couple of weeks. In short, don’t jump the gun and just make a purchase because it was given a 4 or 5-star rating, do your research and look for other opinions to get a bigger picture.