Whether you are a first-time buyer or not, getting a new/different car or truck can be an exciting milestone in your life. You have so many great options to choose from, but many other factors to consider as well. Before you buy the first vehicle you see, you must first take the following into account.
New or Used?
Of course, you are going to want to decide whether you buy a new or used vehicle, as some dealerships sell just one or the other. For many, buying used is often the best way because of the large amount of money they can save. The original owner of the used car dealt with the depreciation that new cars go through during the first few years of ownership. This means that if you were to buy a brand-new car for $30,000, its value would decrease by half to $15,000 within a few years, and a substantial part of your money would vanish. In contrast, you could by the same year and model of car used at $15,000, and its value would just depreciate to around $10,000 within a few years. That is a major difference and a big reason buying used may be the smarter route. In fact, you might find a used car in new condition for a great deal. The vehicle is still new to you, even if it isn’t right off the factory conveyor belt.
Make and Model
If you are a first-time buyer, you may already have a dream car in mind or you may have no idea where to start. That is okay! If you are not buying for the first time, you either want a similar make and model to the vehicle you have been driving or you want to try something different for a change. Whatever you choose, make sure you voice the budget that you wish to stay under so your dealer does not end up showing you the car of your dreams and then making you realize that you cannot afford it. If you are buying a used vehicle, we recommend that it not be more than seven to ten years old, to reduce the possibility of it breaking down sooner or more often. Some dealerships doesn’t always have the model in the exact color you want, or may offer it just in two to three neutral colors, so keep that in mind as well.
If you choose to buy new, you can search online for something along the lines of new 2018 Ford vehicles to access an index of the comparative inventory and features available. With a system like the one that Ernest McCarty Ford offers, you can view and compare such specifications as horsepower and fuel tank capacity. Once you have a few make and models in mind, you can go to a dealership and look at what they have to offer in person.
It is always a promising idea to test drive a vehicle or two before you decide to leave the lot with your choice. A car or truck may look nice to you on the outside, but you are going to be investing a lot of money into it and driving it everywhere–both long and short distances. First, it helps to look online at the Volkswagen Passat you have been wanting in your favorite tourmaline blue color. The pictures on most websites even show you the interior with all the bells and whistles. However, you should never buy a car based on photographs. Once you find the vehicle in person, ask your dealer to take a test drive.
While test-driving, pay close attention to your hands on the steering wheel, your feet on the gas and brake pedals, and your posterior in the seat. Your comfort and the maneuverability of the vehicle are two of the most crucial factors. If you are test-driving in the spring or summer seasons, you may realize that the sleek black interior you thought you wanted doesn’t work for you overall. Chances are, if you like how the black-interior vehicle feels when you take it for a test spin, the dealership you are at (or another down the road) may have the same car with a much lighter colored interior choice.
In addition to comfort and maneuverability, you also want to make sure you know how all the technological features of the vehicle work. Can you hook your phone up to the Bluetooth system or work the stereo and air conditioning with ease? Do you think you can learn and remember what all the lights and beeping noises mean? Of course, you can consult the manual for answers later if you decide to buy. However, seeing these things during a test drive helps you decide if you want–or need–certain features or not.
Warranty and Insurance
Car warranties and car insurance often appear the same. However, each one covers a specific area of concern with little overlap. A warranty offers coverage for minor issues like mechanical breakdowns. New cars often come with a warranty from the manufacturer, who promises to help cover the cost of replacement parts. If you are dealing with a warranty along the lines of Chrysler Warranty direct, they offer you something called Mopar protection. This warranty guarantees that a certified technician replaces the problematic parts of your car with the company’s own genuine parts.
Car insurance is different from a warranty in that it covers more extreme damage, such as that caused by a collision, fire, or natural disaster. It also protects your car in case of a theft. Most policies don’t cover smaller equipment breakdowns. If you hit a deer and your car turns out totaled, your insurance company provides you with a certain amount of money to go toward buying another vehicle. If you and your passengers become injured in an accident, your insurance may also help with medical payments. Most states need drivers to have car insurance, and it is both important and helpful to have.
Something you may not think about much in relation to your vehicle is its carbon footprint. Merriam-Webster defines a carbon footprint as “the amount of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide emitted by something (such as a person’s activities or a product’s manufacture and transport) during a given period.” Automobiles emit around 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. When you factor in how many cars are on the road every day in addition to the outliers who drive further and emit even more, this number seems miniscule.
If you want to become more conscious of the environment, you can consider looking for vehicles that can use alternative fuels like SeQuential biodiesel. As a cleaner alternative to petroleum diesel, biodiesel is non-toxic and reduces your carbon footprint by up to 85 percent. Using biodiesel supports clean energy and becomes a more popular fuel choice over time. Like regular gasoline prices, however, the cost of using alternative fuels can fluctuate based on factors such as location, time of year, and political climate. You just need to decide if helping to improve the environment is worth the changing prices.
Don’t let buying your first–or second or even fifth–vehicle become a daunting task. While you do have quite a few considerations to make, you are sure to be happy with the result afterward!