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Publish Date - May 26, 2020

Author: Nathan Barnes

Categories:   Tips & Insights For Car Buying    Auto Loans & Financing    Buying & Selling Cars   

10 Important Questions to Keep in Mind While Buying a Car

Buying a new car can be an overwhelming situation. Browsing in a dealership is about more than choosing a color, and making a wise investment is not as easy as picking a ride to go from point A to point B. However, hunting down for a fair priced vehicle and a perfect match for the user needs can be troublesome.

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Buying a new car can be an overwhelming situation. Browsing in a dealership is about more than choosing a color, and making a wise investment is not as easy as picking a ride to go from point A to point B. However, hunting down for a fair priced vehicle and a perfect match for the user needs can be troublesome.

Nowadays, experts’ advice is to engage in buying used. This is because a new car typically depreciates about 10% right after the purchase. However, a financially smart option requires an evaluation of needs and scenarios. Doing this is a great strategy to find an answer to every question on the subject. Moreover, knowing what to look for before setting foot on the dealer boosts the user’s confidence, leading to a successful purchase.

From selecting make and model to choosing a custom wheels, decisions are easier with information at hand. By answering the following list of questions, the next search for a car will flow naturally.

1. Can I Afford My Dream Car? Does it Answer My Needs?

Car selection should be a smart decision and not heart-based. The user's needs require specific car types and sizes to be considered. Family size, towing needs, and any other factors including hobbies and interests should be evaluated. For instance, it is not very clever to buy a sports vehicle for a six kid’s family. Moreover, it is also very important to keep future changes in mind. Kids growing and upcoming babies may change the scenario. Additionally, take the features needed or wanted into consideration. From third pedals to tech features such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, gadgets are a major set point for users and costs. Safety devices are important too. Active cruise control, self-parking, and lane-guidance are innovative and significant for many buyers.

Affordability is a key point. Budgeting should include all the payment options. Financial capabilities for the purchase price, and payment quotes are a major influence in this decision. Include in the budget the extra expenses that might appear during the purchase process. Sales tax, air conditioning and manufacturer fees, and dealerships administrative charges are among the principal additional expenses.

By identifying the budget, features, and vehicle model desired, the process of finding a perfect vehicle can begin. Narrowing it down to just a handful of models eases the purchasing process.

2. What Is the Vehicle’s Background?

If buying used, the user needs to know the vehicle history information. The earlier, the better. Background accidents, mileage, maintenance record, and ownership history are among the first necessary tools to make a decision. It is a major red flag if the seller does not have this information.

By having the targeted vehicle’s identification number or VIN checking, the user can check the car’s history report on platforms. At first sight, it can seem a costly service but it is worth it. All vital information is displayed including the service or repair information, and any reported accidents. Furthermore, the prospective buyer should research the vehicle’s model, common repairs and evaluation of the vehicle’s quality through online reviews.

A great tip is to choose vehicles with spaced out repairs. Otherwise, it can be a warning of the car undergoing major problems. Moreover, a Carfax’s report will allow the user to compare both versions of the vehicle’s record: online and seller. If they do not match, the dealer might be lying for some hidden reason.

3. Where to Take the Car for Inspection?

Taking the car for an inspection is key while purchasing used. A trusted local mechanic inspection reassures the car's state of maintenance. A dealer or seller claiming this is not necessary should be treated with caution. Knowing the place where any previous inspection was taken is important if the dealer denies a new inspection. However, insist on seeing the technicians working and talk directly to them. This is especially true when buying a vehicle through platforms like Craigslist or eBay.

4. How Many Miles Are Already on the Gas Mileage?

Gas mileage has a direct impact on outcomes. If a model runs lesser miles per gallon, it will eventually become more expensive. A truck or SUV is more efficient in this regard. A cost-effective vehicle is a clever option for long commuting.

Furthermore, a used car’s mileage carries subtle information. It will determine how much driving will endure until the need for replacement. A 12,000 miles average is within the standard.

5. Is the Title Available and Clean?

When buying used, it is vital to make sure that the title is clean. It means the seller's name is shown and it is available to make a title transfer. It also shows if a car is paid off any loan.

6. How Much Warranty and Insurance Do I Need?

Warranty needs are among the principal questions to answer. It is wise to opt for an extended warranty if major repairs are not affordable after the vehicle automakers’ coverage ends. This is particularly true for long-term payments that exceed the automaker's warranty length. However, keep in mind that excessive warranty can also be deceiving. For instance, extended warranties could be covering the underlying vehicle’s makeup problems. Most manufacturers are willing to negotiate warranty prices.

On the other hand, insurance can be costly. Costs amounts vary from one vehicle to another based on many factors, mainly on vehicle’s claiming history. Be sure to know the vehicle’s insurance coverage before signing a deal. This way, future undesirable repairing surprises can be avoided.

7. How Much Is the Interest Rate?

The interest rate has a direct impact on a car’s final costs. Some dealerships offer generously low-interest rates. Long-term zero-percent loans are among the wildest offers since usually, those are for short-term periods. However, banks and credit unions offer comfortable and competitive rates for personal and vehicle loans. Looking into financing is a vital point for avoiding financial stress.

8. What Are the Additional Costs?

In addition to the car’s final cost, users pay for extra expenses that can be as high as the cost of the car itself. Dealership fees can be excessive since they tend to tuck in unnecessary additional expenses. Therefore, make sure to check all charges on the bill are in line. Taxes, registry fees, and other documentation charges might be necessary.

9. Is the Vehicle a Four-Wheel Drive Model?

Climate can have a serious influence on the decision. A four-wheel drive is a great option in any environment. Furthermore, this is the safest vehicle for colder climates where snow represents a problem. Although most cars are four-wheeled, it is important to assure this feature in that scenario.

10. Am I Comfortable Driving the Vehicle? Do I Like It?

Back to a basic question. While having a test-drive it is essential to feel comfortable. Make sure it offers a perfect fit for pedals and the steering wheel. Check that radio and ventilation controls are within reach. If you are buying used, inspect for cabin wear-and-tear on the seats. Moreover, check that everything works properly such as lights, windows, and locks. Feeling that the vehicle offers proper adjustment will help in making sure it is the one the user is looking for.

Additionally, the comfort of any other family members is also key. Make sure kids can climb the rear seats, have enough legroom and storage space, and even that they will have enough cup holders. Likewise, think of personal interests during inspection. For instance, examine if there is enough cargo space for sports equipment or musical instruments if this is needed. Moreover, try driving aids like the camera system, lane-keeping sensitivity, and stereo sound quality.

By answering these questions and getting real information, the car buying process becomes bearable and easy-going. A keen buyer will know when to ask the appropriate questions, and will have absolute satisfaction by thoroughly searching for information and avoiding buyer’s remorse.