Do you need a new car, but not sure what kind of car you should buy? Read on to learn how to choose a car that works best for your needs. Are you buying a car soon and you’re not sure what kind to get?

With so many different models on the market, finding the perfect fit for you can be a challenge. After all, it’s hard to choose between models but you also must consider whether you’re buying or leasing. 

If you’re not sure how to choose a car, we can guide you through the process. Read these car shopping tips to find that perfect vehicle for you.

Determine Your Wants and Needs

The first step to finding the right car for you is to assess what you want from your new vehicle. A good car should be both functional and stylish.

Here are some questions to keep in mind when determining what you want from your next vehicle. 

Are You the Only Driver?

If you’re the only driver, you may only need the vehicle for yourself and your cargo. A chic coupe is a stylish and often fuel-efficient car perfect for a single driver.

However, you may need a larger vehicle if you have more than one passenger. In this case, a sedan might be the better model. If you have children or need to carry lots of bulky sports or band equipment, consider a car with more cargo space.

How Will You Use the Car?

Consider the type of driving you do. If you’re on the highway often for road trips or your commute, you might want to opt for luxury upgrades.

Heated seats, auto-lane technology, and advanced cruise control are some of the upgrades that make your car comfortable. Some upgrades are safety-based while others are for comfort.

It comes down to your wants and what you think you need most in your vehicle.

Do You Have a Long Commute to Work?

There is nothing worse than being stuck in traffic and worrying about how much gas you have left in your car. If you have a long commute or often get stuck in traffic, you might want to consider a fuel-efficient vehicle.

Will You Be Towing?

A truck is best for towing heavy loads, but a car, van, or crossover can get the job done as well. You can find a vehicle tow rating in the owner’s manual or online.

Some car manufacturers will state that towing is not recommended. Otherwise, you should be able to find how many pounds the vehicle can safely tow.

Consider Your Budget

Your budget is one of the biggest factors you need to consider before buying a car. Many people ask what is the best car for me but fail to consider their budget. Buyers that want flashier or more expensive models than they can afford might find themselves in debt.

Look over your budget and determine how much you can afford for a monthly car payment. As a rule, try not to spend more than 10 percent of your take-home pay on a monthly payment.

Budgeting for car payments is just one of many steps in the car buying process. Read these car shopping tips for even more useful advice.

New vs Used Cars

Used cars are more affordable than new cars, but there are pros and cons to both. Used cars tend to get a bad reputation, but there are plenty of online resources to help you find the right car. 

Once you have a car’s vehicle identification number (VIN), you can then get a vehicle history report online. Never buy a used car if the owner refuses to give you the VIN first as that’s usually a red flag.

With both new and used cars, it helps to see the vehicle in person. You can check for defects, test the comfort of the driver’s seat, see if there’s enough legroom, and check for space.

Decide If You Want to Lease or Buy

So you have an idea of what you need in your car and how much you can afford. The next question to ask yourself is whether you want to lease a car or buy one.

A lease often has lower monthly payments and doesn’t need much money down. You also get to drive newer models that may feature cutting-edge technology. The downside of leasing is that you have mileage limits and you can be charged for too much wear and tear.

You can buy a car outright or pay in monthly installments. Your payments are usually higher but you own your vehicle after it’s paid off. At that point, you can trade it in for a newer model.

There also aren’t any penalties or limits to consider when you buy your car. This might be the route to go if you plan on taking road trips or if you have a long commute every day.

You can buy a car with cash if you can afford it and skip payments entirely. The downside to paying in cash is that you need to budget accordingly. Make sure you won’t need that extra money in the near future.

Take the Car for a Test Drive

Still asking yourself what car should I buy?

The best way to determine if you’ve found the perfect car is to take one for a test drive. This way you can get a feel for how the car drives and whether it’s comfortable for you.

Call or email the dealership to request a test drive once you’ve found the car you want. You can also test drive different cars if you haven’t narrowed down your options yet. Try to schedule your appointments next to each other so you can remember what you enjoyed about each car.

How to Choose a Car You’ll Love

Now that you have an idea of how to choose a car that works for your lifestyle, it’s time to take the final step.

To find a car you’ll love, you have to look at it in person. Whether you plan on leasing or buying, new or used, this is a critical step. It allows you to examine the vehicle and take it for a test drive.

Before you head to the dealership, check out the rest of our site for even more car news and reviews.

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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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