Car Buying Tips: What to Ask Yourself When Buying a Car

5 Car Buying Questions to Ask Yourself

When you’re in the market to purchase a car, have you ever been overwhelmed by all of your options? Many people go car shopping only thinking of superficial desires like status before thinking about what they can afford, how they’ll pay, and the features they need rather than want. suggests shopping with your needs, and not your wants, in mind. So, before you buy your next car, consider the following questions to help you narrow down your search and lead you in the right direction:

  1. New or Used?  While many people are wooed by the mere scent of a new car, sometimes a used car is the best value for your money. Did you know that the typical new car can depreciate up to 40 percent the moment it’s driven off the lot? So, consider buying a “late” model, or a low-mileage used car that will not only save you money, but could also provide some “new car” perks, like a warranty.
  2. Cash or Loan?  After you decide whether you’d like to buy a new or used car, the next thing you’ll likely have to decide is how you’re going to pay. While you may have the cash on hand to purchase the car you want, it’s likely that you’ll need car financing. If you are looking for a new auto loan or a used car loan, be sure to investigate all of your options and you can even show up with a pre-approval letter before test driving. That way, the seller will know you are serious about the purchase and may be more likely to negotiate to seal the deal.
  3. Manual or Automatic?  The next decision to mull over is whether you’d like to drive a car with a manual or automatic transmission. Those who don’t know how to drive manual cars may have the choice made for them. However, keep in mind that stick shift vehicles are often at least a few hundred dollars cheaper than their automatic counterparts. If you’re looking to save, it may be worthwhile to learn how to drive a manual car before making the choice.
  4. Gas, Electric, or Hybrid?  When deciding what type of car to buy, there is also the question of fuel economy. While some gas guzzlers may come with a lower sticker price, a fuel-efficient small to mid-size gas car, or even an electric or hybrid car may save you money in the long run. Be sure to do the comparisons before opting one way or the other. Some electric and hybrid cars require that you drive anywhere from 15,000 to 100,000 miles before you break even on the additional cost of purchase.
  5. Seating for Two or 20?  While a 20-seater may be a bit of an exaggeration, when it comes to seating space, not all cars are created equal. You may even want to think about the future if you plan on having your next car for a while. For example, are you recently married and think kids may be a part of your future plan? If so, you may not want to settle on a two-seater when you may just have to trade it in for an SUV or minivan in the near future.

There are many other options and features you may want to consider before buying your next car. However, if you start with these five questions you’ll be on the road to your next new (or new to you) car in no time. Also, if you’ve already purchased a new car, you may find that there’s even more money to save on interest than what you’re paying now. Consider an auto refinance loan to help lower your interest rate even more.

What advice would you give someone purchasing their first vehicle?

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