Buying a car is exciting, especially when you upgrade from a sloppy jalopy to a finely tuned mechanical beast. But like any purchase, there’s got to be some calculations to be considered with a new car: Is it needed? Is it the right time? When do you get it?
Here are some ideas we’d like to share on discerning when the right moment is for you to convert from your four-wheeled best friend to a brand new automobile.
• Sign #1 – Budget
Money should be your numero uno consideration. You should have enough dough to buy a car, or at least pay for the monthly installments.
If you don’t have the cash, forget about buying a new vehicle in the meantime. Save up for it. Owning a new ride is not worth jeopardizing the financial status of your family.
Speaking of family… onward to our next point!
• Sign #2 – Family Size
Sure, your sedan was okay when you and your wife were dating, but things change significantly when you a couple of kids are introduced. As a family of four, it’s quite hard for all of you to fit in your pre-married life car. It might feel a bit cramped in there now that there are more of you in it. This is when a considering a new vehicle is in order, like a van or an SUV/AUV, for a more comfortable ride.
Keep Sign #1 in mind even if you’re married with kids. If you have the money even after paying the bills and kid’s tuition, by all means, plan away. But if you break even, the best course of action is to wait further for the perfect timing.
• Sign #3 – Your car is really, really, old
If your car overheats more often than ever, if your radiator leaks too much and too often, and if your car’s metal stamping is damaged all over, then it’s time to consider getting a new ride. The idea is that buying another car, whether brand new or used, is much cheaper in the long run and less of a hassle than repairing all the broken parts of your current car.
But wait! Before you make a trip to your local car dealer, avoid these common mistakes:
• Mistake #1 – Buying a car that doesn’t fit you
If you’re single, it’s advisable not to buy a huge car – like a van or SUV – that chugs a lot of gasoline. Since you’ll only use it to ferry yourself to destinations like gimmicks or the office, get a much smaller car with better fuel economy. However, if your manly taste is really eyeing towards the big guns, then opt for the one that run on diesel.
The inverse applies, too. If you have a family, buy a larger car, and not a sedan or compact-type vehicle.
• Mistake #2 – Buying brand new
Getting a used vehicle that’s about 2 years old is much wiser in the long run. Depending on how the previous owner took care of it, it will run like new and cost cheaper than the showroom model.
• Mistake #3 – Skipping the test drive
Purchasing a car without a test drive is like buying a shirt without checking if it fits perfectly on you. Get a feel of the automobile’s acceleration power, transmission, and braking system. A test drive lets you know if the car fits like a glove. If it doesn’t, then it just helped you decide that the model isn’t for you, and is the next step before you find the perfect car to match your needs.