Purchasing a new vehicle can be a fun process, full of exciting features and expensive price tags. It's easy to get swept away by that new car smell and new technology, but having a plan will help you make the decision that is ultimately right for you. That's why we've made a list of do's and dont's that you can use as a reference when looking for that next dream car.
To find the ideal vehicle for you, you'll want to begin by determining the type of vehicle that best fits your unique lifestyle. That could be a convertible, coupe, minivan, compact car, etc. Different body styles normally afford different features, so make sure you consider what a normal day looks like for you when driving and also what else you hope to do with the vehicle
Once you've settled on the type of vehicle you want, make a list of what's most important to you in regard to features, fuel efficiency and more. Research various models and makes that give you all the amenities and features that you want out of your next vehicle.
Creating a budget can be the most difficult part of the process. You may have found the vehicle that fits you perfectly, but finding one that you can afford can be hard. When purchasing a new vehicle, it's best to put about 20 percent down, limit the term to no more than 60 months and keep your monthly payment below 10 percent of your income. Plus, you'll want to make sure you consider the cost of maintenance. Some cars tend to cost more than others.
Negative equity can be a huge burden. The balance of your old loan may be consolidated into the new car's loan amount, meaning you could be paying the debt of two cars in one, big loan. Get ahead by knowing what your trade may be worth before you get to the dealership.
Take your time with the test-drive to make sure you actually like the car instead of just enjoying the feeling of driving a new car. Ask any questions you might have, play with the various features and look around the vehicle. Make sure the car has all of the features that you were looking for, including cargo space, technological features, room for passengers and more.