When you’re looking for a new car on today’s auto market it’s easy to be bewildered by the huge choice available. Where should you begin when deciding what model to buy? Obviously, cost is a big factor, but you also need to have something that’s suitable for your needs. It’s no good buying a small hatchback to save money if you know you’re going to be transporting a large family group around the place on a regular basis.
Factors like safety, miles to the gallon and where you’re going to drive your new car also need to be considered. Do you want something sleek and nippy for getting around the city, or a tough and rugged SUV that can handle rough terrain with ease? Working out exactly what you’re looking for is the first step in getting the best deal for your money. It can be difficult to find the perfect car while staying within your budget, but there are certain things to consider if you want to get the best return for your investment.
Think about fuel economy
Today’s new cars are much better in this respect than their gas-guzzling predecessors, but it’s also true that some models will give you more mileage to the dollar than others. Options like electric and hybrid engines offer further possibilities for saving money and the environment, and with longer battery life and more electric powering stations across the US and Canada, electric cars are an increasingly practical choice. Popular hybrid vehicles include the Toyota Prius, the Hyundai Ioniq and the redesigned Chevrolet Malibu.
Decide how much you can afford to spend on a new car and stick within it. A good guide is to make sure you don’t spend more than 25% of your monthly household income on car costs. That amount should cover not just loan repayments but fuel, insurance and other running costs. Calculating all of those expenses together will help you see if you’re really getting value for money: it’s not just about what you pay for the car itself.
Look at the most popular models
The most popular cars in the US and Canada are ranked as such for a reason: these are generally affordable, effective all-rounders that people buy because they work reliably and give value for money. In both territories, the Honda Civic holds the number one spot. The Toyota Corolla and Camry are also popular, as are the Ford Fusion, the Chevy Cruze and the Hyundai Elantra. The US goes for the Nissan Altima, the Sentra, and the Honda Accord.
In Canada, the Volkswagen Jetta and Golf are perennial favorites, and are currently the cheapest new cars to insure out of the country’s top ten.
Shop around for hidden discounts
When you’re talking to a dealership, try to find out about any positive discounts that might apply to you. Do they give money off for those who’ve served in the military? What about students, or nurses? Do your research and find out if you can benefit.
Take your time
That piece of advice applies to all stages of the auto buying process. Research the best prices online before approaching your local dealership. When you take a car out for a test drive, take as long as you need getting comfortable, trying it out under different conditions and exploring the various features. If you’re trading in your old model, negotiate a price for that separately from negotiating a price for the new car. And don’t feel pressurized to buy add-ons you either don’t want, don’t understand or suspect you could get cheaper elsewhere.
Buying a new car is a major investment and not a process to be entered into lightly. It’s important to buy from a dealership that you can trust and to know just what you’re looking for ahead of time. Stick within your budget, but don’t compromise on the essential features that you know you need. Be clear about your requirements. Be sure to include fuel, insurance and other costs into your budgeting, as these do vary considerably from model to model. But ultimately, remember that it’s your decision, and don’t let pressures from the salesperson or any other factors interfere with getting the car that you want at the right price.
This is a guest post from Renisa Barnwell. She is a Web developer and content writer with more than 1000 Websites in her portfolio. In her spare time, she provides business tips and advice on her blog.