Tips on Buying an Automobile

Purchasing a new or used car can be overwhelming. It's important to buy an automobile that matches your needs. Use this guide to help narrow your search and enjoy the vehicle you choose to its fullest!

Be Realistic About Your Budget

Before searching for an automobile, whether new or used, take a good look at how much you are willing to spend. There are several ways to finance your vehicle, depending on the requirements of individual dealers. In most cases, you will need to provide an initial down payment followed by regular monthly installments, until the car is paid in full. Although a low down payment may seem appealing, it is a good practice to put down at least 20% of the total cost to avoid high interest rates. Keep in mind that part of the down payment is taken from the value of any cars you plan to trade-in. A good ballpark for what you can afford monthly is no more than 36% of your gross monthly income. In addition, this figure should be adjusted according to itemized monthly expenses also encountered, such as utility bills, mortgage payments, school loans, etc. Don't forget about insurance premiums, sales tax, and registration fees that are based on the type of automobile purchased. Remember that these costs will vary from state to state.

Choosing the Right Size

Once you've settled on a sensible budget, it's time to compare the types of automobiles available. It is important to consider the number of people that will be riding in the car. Although most cars have a 5-seat capacity, this may be too cramped for backseat passengers. For instance, a 2-door coupe is much more appropriate for those with only one other passenger. Larger families, or those with small children, might opt for a minivan or an SUV instead. These automobiles often seat 7-8 people. In addition, they provide enough space for child booster seats, team sports equipment, or even your kids' band or orchestra instruments. A larger car is a must for parents that carpool. Other cargo such is work equipment should be taken into consideration. For example, a roofing contractor is much more likely to need a pick-up truck that can handle hauling materials than a single city dweller with an office job. If more cargo space is still desired or a trailer hitch is necessary for those averaging only 1-2 passengers, a hatchback would be a much more suitable vehicle.

Understand Your Vehicle Standards

While sports cars are suitable for the auto buff; one's optimal driving experience differs from person to person. One of the most obvious choices to be made is whether a manual or automatic transmission is preferred. For families that have drivers with different preferences, an automatic transmission with a manual mode is a suitable choice. Drivers must also consider how much traction is needed. Will this vehicle need to climb steep or rough terrain? Is it likely that your future automobile will face rough winters or severe rainstorms? These are important questions to ask when opting for a 2-wheel-drive, 4-wheel-drive, or all-wheel-drive car. Furthermore, good fuel economy can be important for drivers who expect to do a lot of commuting. Many automobile makers are now offering hybrid or even plug-in models for optimal mpg ratings.

Comparing and Researching Models

Once you and any other drivers of the future automobile have reached a consensus, it is time to compare several of your top choices. It is important to research other driver reviews of these vehicles to learn of any hidden maintenance costs you may accrue after a few years of driving. This is a great way to judge the reliability and safety of certain models. Take a good look at the safety ratings of each automobile to determine that none of your required features are lacking. Furthermore, it's important to test-drive any vehicle that is under consideration to ensure you get the most comfortable driving experience you can.

Addition Features

Any additional features such as window tinting, upholstery, media capabilities, keyless entry, power windows, and of course car color must be decided amongst the potential drivers. Find your next automobile today with EstimateExperts.com!