Despite the obvious similarity that all cars have the same basic features as they come with an engine, four wheels and a steering wheel, they couldn’t be more different either, and there is a dazzling array of over four hundred new models entering the marketplace each year.
Trying to choose the one that is right for you has probably never been so difficult and even if you have a favorite brand, there are still plenty of options left to consider before you settle on the new car that you want to drive away.
Here is a look at some of the key questions you need the answers if you are going to narrow down your options and find the perfect vehicle for your lifestyle and needs. Including tips on body style, why it pays to be strict with your budget, and a look at finance options.
Think body style first
Put the number of models available out of your mind just for the moment and start your search by deciding on the body style that best fits your needs.
When you start working through all of the different body style options available that can be a daunting challenging in its own right. Do you want a style that makes a statement about you like a coupe or a convertible, is a sedan going to be big enough to cope with a growing family, or will an SUV be the one that ticks all of the right boxes?
You can get down to options on your SUV once you have settled on whether that is the body style that is right for how you intend to use your vehicle and how much space you need.
Think about the various features of each specific body style. For instance, an SUV Crossover will offer you a higher seating position, which is something a lot of drivers prefer for increased visibility. You might also like to have an SUV if you plan to take your car to other places besides the highway.
A sedan is another popular body style and you have plenty of make and model options available if that is your preferred option. Have a think about who will be riding in the car, though, as you don’t want to end up with a sedan model that doesn’t offer enough space and comfort in the back to keep your children happy and safe.
Budget is important
It is way too easy to fall in love with a model that you see in the showroom and decide to buy it without paying enough attention to the price tag.
It is almost irrelevant if there is a competitive finance deal being offered to you as a way of getting you to commit to the purchase, as you could end up regretting your hasty decision shortly afterward when the payments start to eat into your monthly money.
It is always wise to be disciplined with your budget and work out exactly how much you can afford to pay for your vehicle before you get anywhere near to making a final decision on the make and model.
The sensible strategy would be to pay a maximum of 20% of your monthly salary towards car finance, so work out that figure if you are going to be getting a finance deal and that will help dictate your budget and what sort of car you can realistically afford.
Avoid the temptation to be blinded by special offers and deals if it means you are going to overstretch your monthly finances. You will often love your car choice, even more, when it feels affordable.
Better to buy or lease?
Leasing is a hugely popular option these days and it is easy to understand why it is liked by so many new car buyers, but it is a good idea to look at both buying and leasing to see which one works best for you.
One of the main advantages attached to leasing is that it offers you flexibility as well as the option to drive a more expensive model for a lower monthly payment compared to buying on finance.
With a lease deal, you get the car for a specified period of time which means you get the chance to upgrade to a new model every 2-3 years.
Buying your vehicle on finance will mean that you own the vehicle outright once you have made all the payments due, which gives you the flexibility to keep the car for as long as you want and then sell it when you want.
You don’t normally get any mileage penalties when you buy the car on finance, but a lease deal normally stipulates an annual mileage limit.
Once you have answered these key questions you are well on the way to narrowing down your options and finding the right car for you out of all the models available.
Callum McKenzie is a Father of four who is passionate about cars, soccer, and finances; taking it upon himself to get his family out of debt in just 4 years.