At a very young age, most of us decide on a dream car that tickles our fantasies – and we may even start saving up to buy it once we start working and earning our own money. And while it’s thrilling to finally be able to go out and do it, the actual process of buying a car has to be preceded by some research and introspection. A fantasy remains beautiful until it’s about to become a reality. This is where you need to stop and ask yourself a few questions, before putting your hard-earned money into a major investment like a car.

In this article, we tackle the top five most significant questions to examine before taking the step.

1. Is It Cost-Effective?

The first thing you should ask yourself is: will this car really be worth paying this sum for? Buying a new vehicle is like buying any new machine – it’s not only about the initial price. So, to answer this question, you will have to study the car’s fuel efficiency, maintenance costs, and insurance. Sometimes, depending on where you live, you may want to purchase your car from another city or country- will the overall cost, including shipping make more sense for you?

This requires that you get enough research done to know what the whole process will cost and how much time it will take. If you live in Hawaii for example, you’ll need to know all the details it takes to ship cars to Hawaii from any given place. You will also want to ask around about the prices of various replacement parts in case of unfortunate events.

2. What Can It Do?

Your dream car did a lot of things in your imagination, but now is the time to find out. You want to know that it can do the things you want it to do, wherever you go. What are the reviews saying about the speed and maneuverability? How many people can this car seat for a comfortable ride to the next party?

3. Will I Feel Safe in It?

Manufacturers perform crash tests on their cars, aiming at identifying a car’s weak spots. That said, and while your dream car may be a sight for the eyes, it may be extremely dangerous in the event of an accident. Crash test ratings are important for you to check, and are commonly used by insurance companies, for they affect premiums and payouts.

4. Will I Be Paying for Useless Extras?

Many dealers try to up-sell whenever they can, and a way to do that is to convince you of paying more for trivialities like trendy red leather seats, or “paint protection” coatings that aren’t really worth it. Before making your purchase, prepare a list of your must-haves – features you really need. After all, you can always complement your car with extras later, possibly from other dealers at more affordable prices.

5. Am I Benefiting from a Warranty?

You should always ask to know more about the vehicle warranty, what the period is, and what it includes. If you are buying a used car, you should still check, as some dealers offer partial warranties for used cars. This might mean that you will pay slightly more than the official price, but it will save you significant sums in the future.

Buying your dream car doesn’t mean that emotion will determine your purchase. Before actually paying for your new vehicle, consider attributes beyond what meets the eye – costs; capabilities; safety; warranty; and after-sales service are all factors you should consider to make an informed decision.

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Will Hopstetter

Will is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United Kingdom. He holds a diverse background in automotive and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.

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