3 Tips on Buying a Car Without Making Costly Mistakes
Buying a new vehicle is costly, whether it’s new or used. Even if you don’t pay a lot up front, your hard-earned dollars will go towards monthly payments, maintenance and insurance bills. And then there are all of those little things you might want to do in-between, such as adding car mods. There’s no denying that owning a car is expensive. That’s why you want to make good choices from the beginning, so you’re not wasting your money (as well as your time and energy) on a vehicle that’s not right for you. This is one of the most important tips on buying a car you can receive. Never choose a car that you will regret later on. But how?
Come to Terms with Yourself
You’ve probably heard the term “self-acceptance” before. It’s used in the context of beauty and psychology, but rarely is it used in other aspects of life – but it should. When it comes to major financial decisions, many people refuse to buy or invest in things that are suitable for their circumstances. They would rather have things that satisfy their egos, or meet some kind of social expectation. Cars are often at the centre of this. In fact, many people buy cars not to make their lives easier, but rather to make their lives appear better from the outside. And hopefully, if you’re about to buy a car, you won’t make the same mistake.
Don’t buy a car beyond your means
The most avoidable yet common mistake that aspiring car owners make, is to buy a car they simply can’t afford. Let’s go back to the first paragraph in this post for a bit. Unless you’re buying a car upfront with cash, you’ll most likely have to finance it. You might not have any issues paying for the car if you can put zero down. But what about the high monthly payment? Many individuals overlook how substantial a monthly fee can be if your down payment was low, or if you didn’t make one at all. There’s also the factor of maintenance. Simply put, some cars cost more to keep them running as opposed to others. You may be able to scrape by to make payments for a shiny BMW, but the maintenance would certainly cost you more than a Hyundai. Remember, buying a car isn’t one-time buy; as long as you own one, you’ll have to spend money on it. So it’s wise to avoid buying a vehicle you know will cost too much in the future.
Picking the first thing you see
Let’s say you find yourself in a situation where you need to buy a new car quickly. Perhaps, your livelihood depends on your car, and your previous vehicle just broke down on you. To top it all off, let’s say you have a working knowledge of cars. With all of these factors working with each other, you might rush into buying a vehicle that seems to be the most appropriate. But that could be a bad move. One of the tips on buying a car is to always do your research beforehand.
Yes, when you’re under pressure, you may feel like time is dwindling. However, a lack of planning only results in selling yourself short. What if there is another car out there, which offers better performance, fuel economy, safety features and visual appeal than the one you have in mind? What if there’s another car out there that offers the same features, but for a reduced price? The only way you could know is by giving yourself some time to scan your options – skimming won’t do you any good when looking for the right vehicle.
Choosing a car that doesn’t suit your needs
If you were to look at cars and people as relationships, you’d have to agree that opposites seem to attract. Single people may drive a full-size SUV, urbanites may drive trucks better suited for the farm, people looking to rebuild their credit may buy an out-of-their-league luxury sedan – the list goes on. It’s probably a result of human nature; after all, we want things we can’t have. But that natural tendency is best reserved for things not related to cars. Buying a car that doesn’t suit your needs ultimately leads to a lot of frustration. Even if you can afford it, you won’t get the value you are looking for. You may not be able to get the fuel economy you want, or you may find yourself sacrificing much needed space simply because of the emblem on your car hood. While a certain type of car sitting on your driveway may appeal to your eyes, it’s important to remember that you’ll start to resent it if it doesn’t actually bring value to your life.
Lessons for the Showroom
So before signing off on a car, or even making what you call “a final decision”, run a few reminders in your head before making a selection. Your car choice is going to stick with you for a few years, and you don’t want it to be a stain that’s hard to remove. That’s why it’s best to keep the slate clean so that you don’t have to deal with a lasting mistake.
Tips for Making Your Pic
- Read about the car you want, but also look at its similar models
- Check out reviews for the car you want and others in its category
- Find out if it’s known for a particular defect or if it’s regularly recalled by its manufacturer
- Don’t fall for everything others tell you; form your own opinion
- Buy a car that suits your budget both on the short and long run
- Buy a car that ultimately suits your needs, not your ego
- Ask yourself if this purchase is something you will or won’t regret 3 – 5 years from now
Think Before You Say “Sold!”
Car ownership doesn’t need to be a stressful or burdensome task. However, a lot of people allow it to be this way because they don’t think things through. Whether its to appeal to their ego or delight their friends, they end up digging a hole for themselves. But you can avoid that. By choosing a car that is affordable, valuable and not rushed into a purchase, you can save yourself years worth of burden.