Early man had little say about how he went around. Back in his more primordial years, it was either walk or starve. Fortunately, people nowadays get a much better deal, thanks to the many transport options they have at their disposal. Despite the value of public transport systems and transport network vehicles, many still prefer driving their cars—and for good reason. Although it means spending more money and exerting more effort, having your car also gives you freedom, convenience, and, admittedly, a bit of credit.
If you’ve recently been playing around with the idea of swapping your current vehicle for a newer model, then it’s probably wise to take a minute to think this through. To guide your thought process, here are a few factors to consider before you go and shake a salesman’s hand at a car dealership:
How much additional expense can I afford?
Getting a new car is a significant spending commitment, so go through your current bank accounts first to check that you’re earning significantly more money than you’re spending. Once you guarantee that you’re financially capable, take a beat; you’re not good to go just yet. You should also consider which payment scheme works best for you. For instance, would you rather cash out a huge down payment upfront or pay every month for a fixed number of years? Should you find that you need a bit of help in this area, you could also consider applying for loans at your credit union or bank.
What do I need that my current car isn’t giving me?
It’s a good sign if you have a ready answer for this one since that increases the likelihood that a new car is a necessary expense for you. Keep track of your answers and list out all your current vehicle needs that you’re no longer getting from the car you have in the garage. Whether it be as small as a persistently blinking dashboard light or as serious as a faulty engine, only you can gauge what your needs are. By listing your needs alongside your car’s issues, you’re also highlighting which ones (if any) could easily be remedied through an inexpensive vehicle repair job.
What do I want that my current car isn’t giving me?
Everyone knows that owning a car isn’t solely about use and function. After all, this is why luxury brands such as Porsche, Lamborghini, and Ferrari exist. You’re definitely allowed to be a human with taste. Preference should also be a factor to consider, especially if you have the hard-earned cash to let you go for it. Just be careful not to let yourself be swept up in what everyone else is driving. Focus on what you want, since it’s going to be you behind the wheel.
Who are my passengers?
Switching back to practicality, you must factor in the vehicle capacity that you need. Logic would tell you that a bigger family needs a bigger car. But more than the actual number, it would be good if you knew the particular needs of your passengers as well since they would also be the ones frequently riding in your car. Speaking of passenger capacity, you may want to consider how much cargo space you need as well.
What transport type do the people who go through my routes choose to use?
Think of this question as another way to gauge whether you truly need a car. If all your neighbors prefer to use public transportation, then it may be worth asking around about that just to be sure that you’re not missing anything important. But then again, it may just be a matter of preference and need, so don’t think about this extensively.
What exact models should I be looking for?
Once you’ve narrowed down your capabilities, needs, and preferences, it’s time to make a list of exact car models that fit all of it. If you’re not car-savvy, you can always ask for the input of the car enthusiasts in your trusted circle. Scouting for models also includes figuring out the best deals for them, so try to ask around your local dealerships without giving away too much information.
A month seems like enough time to prepare for this undertaking. It’s enough time to reflect on everything that’s just been listed out here. More than that, however, it’s time you should be taking to source the best deal that you can get. Still, keep in mind that dealerships need to make a profit, so don’t leave a good deal on the table for too long.