|Image Courtesy of Flickr|
The first step in buying a car is determining what kind of car is right for you. There are a number of factors to consider when deciding which make, model, and buying style is the best fit for your life.
The most important factors you need to consider when deciding on the right car to buy are the realistic, day-to-day, needs for your vehicle. The car you buy needs to become a functional part of your everyday life and the most fashionable options aren't always the most functional. Consider where you will be driving most often, how many passengers you are likely to have, and the tasks you need to attend to while driving. For example, a sporty two-seater is not going to address the realistic needs of a family with two small children and a dog. Knowing what you need from the car you buy will help narrow the field to only the cars that have the right amenities.
Take a look at your financial situation and determine the most you can afford to pay a month for your new car. Keep in mind the average interest rates people with your approximate credit history and income receive when calculating what price point fits your budget. Also, look at what you can afford to put forward as a down payment and the lowest amount you are likely to receive for any vehicle you are planning on trading in to the dealership.
Once you have a clear picture of your financial situation, you can determine whether a new or used car is the right choice. Used cars are usually less expensive, while new cars can be customized to your exact specifications and cost more.
Every car costs a different amount of money to drive and maintain. When researching what kind of car is the right car for you, consider your monthly and yearly budget for car expenses. Insurance, registration, and routine maintenance costs vary based on the kind of car you own. You should take the time to research the on-going cost of ownership for each car you are considering.
While trying to determine what kind of car is the right fit for you it is best to remain realistic about your needs and financial situation. Careful consideration of these factors will narrow the shopping pool to a few likely candidates for test drives.