Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
3 minutes reading time (661 words)

Choosing Your Next Vehicle

Buying your next vehicle can be an exciting thing, but it can also be confusing thing if you don’t go in with at least some idea of what you’re looking for. A realistic attitude will help make car shopping go more smoothly. It can be frustrating to start with your heart set on a certain make and model if it isn’t what you really need.

Ask yourself these questions to help narrow down your choices:

What do you need your vehicle for?
Sure, getting from Point A to Point B is the reason for needing any vehicle, but what to you plan on transporting besides yourself? If there is a large-capacity vehicle already in the family that can be used when you have to pick up physically large items, you may be able to get a small commuter vehicle to save on fuel. But if this is the only vehicle in the household, you may want something a little more versatile.

How many seats and doors do you need?
Common sense, but you’ll at least need enough seats to accommodate anyone who’ll be travelling with you, and a four-door is more convenient when you routinely have people in the back seat. A sports car is unlikely to work as the only automobile if you are a newlywed planning to start a family.

How important is fuel economy?
With the ever-increasing cost of gas, this is an important consideration. A big gas guzzling truck may be necessary if you plan to tow a camper or boat, but the same truck can be an unneeded burden in fuel costs if you are only using it to commute back and forth to work.

How much hauling capacity do you need?
Many vehicles can be equipped with a hitch for a bike carrier or to tow a small, lightweight trailer. But check the vehicle’s tow-capacity if you want to pull something heavy such as the above-mentioned camper or boat. A bigger engine usually means more towing capacity, but the vehicle must also be capable of handling the extra weight on the frame.

Are you willing or able to pay more for dependability?
Any auto can break down and all vehicles will need maintenance to keep them running safely and efficiently. In general, a newer vehicle is likely to have fewer mechanical problems than an older vehicle, but some makes and models just have a better track record than others in dependability. Do your research.

What is the age and mileage of the vehicle?
A thirty-year old vehicle that was garage-kept, well-maintained, and driven only occasionally may be in great shape with very low miles for its age, and may be a good deal if you like the classics. And it might be smarter deal than a five-year old car that was abused with high miles and neglect.

What is your price range?
Figure out what you can spend before you start shopping. You may choose to make payments up to a certain dollar amount per month, or you may decide on a total vehicle price. Don’t forget to add in other purchase-related expenses such as taxes, title transfer fee, and registration, as well as the cost to insure the vehicle.

What type of financing will you need?
If you have good credit and are looking for a newer vehicle, you are likely to have many financing options available. However, you are likely to find that lenders don’t like making loans on old vehicles with high miles. It’s a good idea to obtain a pre-approval from your lender if you’re considering buying a vehicle from a private seller, so that you know what the lender’s loan conditions are before you begin your search.

Once you have a checklist of needs in your next vehicle, it’s easy to narrow down to several models that will work for you. From that point, the vehicle’s price and condition can help you make your final decision on your next vehicle.
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Tuesday, 05 March 2024

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