What Kind Of Vehicle?
First, you must decide generally what type of vehicle you wish to buy. Determine what your needs are, or what your needs will be? For instance, do you have a family, or are children in the near future? What do you expect out of your vehicle? Are you looking to buy a car, truck, SUV, van? 2-Door? 4-Door? Convertible? What type of body style would you like? Automatic transmission or stick? Front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive? What optional safety features or amenities do you wish to include? Anti-lock brakes? Cruise control? Air conditioning? Power windows? Eight beverage cup holders? All of these questions will help you eliminate vehicles that are not for you and get you closer to a decision.
What Can You Afford?
You should already have an understanding of what you can and cannot afford. Obviously you should bypass the Ferrari dealership and the Lamborghini website if you know they’re out of your price range. But more specifically, if you have decided upon, for instance, a sport utility vehicle, can you afford the Mercedes-Benz M-Class or the Lincoln Navigator, or are the Toyota 4Runner or the Jeep Cherokee closer to your price range? Again, asking yourself these questions will get you closer to a decision.
Should You Use The Internet?
There are plenty of web sites out there containing a wealth of information and advice regarding a new car pur. A great resource is to visit the web site of a particular manufacturer. In doing so, you can features about a particular model that you may not have known about. You can find out what features come standard and which equipment comes optional. Some sites allow you to view color schemes and others will let you see a 360° view of the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Also you can get information on pricing, financing and leasing.
What About Financing?
Clearly the most prudent way to buy a car is to pay cash. However, most of us are not in the position do so. This is where financing comes into play. Your financing options will be contingent upon your credit rating, i.e. the better your credit rating, the more options you’ll have. At this point you should be settled on a specific make and model and should also have an idea of how much it will cost. It would be wise to explore your financing options outside the dealership realm, such as through your bank or through the manufacturers themselves. However, do not tell the dealer you are looking at outside financing until you have reached a final price for the vehicle. This way, you have the power. With an outside rate already established, you may get offered a lower rate from the dealer.
Should You Lease?
Leasing a vehicle was originally an option for the business owner. Over time it has become a way for people to drive a better car that might otherwise be out of their price range. However, leasing is not an option for everyone. If you plan to drive your car for a long time, leasing may not be for you. But if you regularly trade your car in every few years, you may want to consider a lease. Leasing lowers monthly payments as compared to financing an outright new car purchase, which in turn will allow you to get the out-of-your- vehicle you may need or want.
Things To Be Aware Of Before Leasing A Vehicle:
Maintenance of the vehicle is a condition of the lease terms. In other words, you must pay for any bodywork or maintenance that does not fall under warranty.
Most lease agreements have a predetermined annual mileage, wherein you will be charged for every mile you drive over the limit. Often the mileage falls between 12,000 and 15,000 per year, and you’re usually charged a dime per extra mile. It seems like chump change now, but it adds up fast.
A lease is a commitment. In other words, do not plan to end your lease early unless you are willing to pay for a lease termination, which can be quite pricey.
Speak with your insurance agent prior to making the decision. The higher monthly payments and/or lower deductible may change your mind