Buying a car isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. A vehicle is a very important purchase and a significant outlay that can either bring you lots of joy and comfort or cause you a lot of frustration and agony. There are a lot of great quality vehicles to choose from in these modern times. But making the final decision when you have so many different options can be a very challenging task. 

So how do you choose the right car? Here are a couple of tips that can help narrow things down and help you find a suitable ride.

Assess Your Needs

This is one of the most important factors to consider when you are buying a new or used car. Your new car should accommodate all of your physical needs. Are you traveling as an individual or as a large family? What roads are you most likely to venture on? Is it more important to have a stylish ride or is fuel efficiency more important? What safety features do you desire? How much space do you need in the boot? Will you be using the vehicle for towing? Will the car be required to have off road ability or be need to be performance orientated?

You should consider your current and future needs and align this up with the expected ownership period of the car you are considering to purchase. How significant are likely lifestyle changes in your needs during this period? Will you expect to increase the size of your family? Will younger children become teenagers and grow significantly in size and the associate accommodation needs  of the vehicle be met? Will you need to accommodate grandparents in the vehicle?

All of these questions are helpful for narrowing things down so you can find a car that can accommodate all of your needs all of the time during your period of ownership.

Determine Your Budget

Until you determine your budget for purchasing a car, it is difficult to determine the the type of car, age and features your money will buy you. It is the important line in the sand that determines all the processes that will get you to deciding the right car for your needs within your budget. 

Most people who buy a car will require some form of financing. Before you start shopping, you should determine the monthly downpayment you are able to make. As a rule of thumb, your monthly payment shouldn’t exceed 10-15% of your monthly take-home pay. Factors such as your credit score, other debt obligations, and the amount of money you have available for a down payment will also play a role in determining how much you can borrow for a car loan.

Ultimately, it’s important to carefully consider your budget and financial goals when deciding how much to borrow for a car loan, and to work with a lender or financial advisor who can help you determine what is affordable for you.

When you are determining your budget, you should also keep in mind that you will also need to pay for the maintenance costs, repairs, fuel, registration and insurance costs that come with the car. 

Decide Between Leasing And Buying

Leasing a car or buying it outright are two popular options when considering purchasing a car. There are pros and cons for both options but it always will depend on your individual circumstances and preferences.

Benefits of Leasing a car:

  1. Tax advantages: For business owners, leasing a car can provide tax benefits, as the lease payments can be tax-deductible. Additionally, GST is only payable on the lease payments, not the full cost of the vehicle.
  2. Lower maintenance costs: Leasing a car typically means that the vehicle is still under warranty, which can help to reduce maintenance and repair costs.
  3. No depreciation risk: With a lease, you don’t have to worry about the depreciation of the car, as you are only paying for the use of the vehicle over the lease term. This can be especially beneficial for those who want to drive a newer car without taking on the risk of depreciation.

Benefits of purchasing a car outright:

  1. Resale value: When you purchase a car outright, you own the vehicle and can sell it at any time. This can be beneficial for those who want to recoup some of their investment when it comes time to upgrade to a new vehicle.
  2. No Kilometre restrictions: Like in other markets, purchasing a car outright in Australia means that you don’t have to worry about any driving distance  restrictions, which can be important for those who frequently drive long distances.
  3. Lower long-term costs: While purchasing a car outright may require a larger upfront outlay, it can be a more cost-effective option in the long run, as you won’t be making monthly payments or paying interest charges.

Both of these can be very good options to secure a vehicle.

Consider All The Vehicle Brands In That Class

Once you determine the type of car you would like and your budget, you can start looking for available vehicles. In this current affected COVID market there are significant and varied delays in obtaining a new car across different manufacturers. 

Picking the right car in this market may require a Plan A, B or C. Sourcing the best car for your needs may require a significant wait. You may need to consider a Plan B option, picking the a very similar second best car as it might be available much sooner. Examples of some popular new Toyota Hybrid cars have waiting times ballooning out from 18-36 months. 

It is good to take a look at different car brands of the same class. Different brands may have varied levels of relative reliability, warranty, cost of servicing, parts and resale value. By comparing different brands of vehicles of the same class and year model, you should be able to narrow things down to a make and model that gives you the most benefits at the lowest cost.

Find Vehicles For Sale

Once you have established the type and make of the car you would like to buy, it is time to start shopping. 

There are various options and sources you can find your new or used car. You can personally visit a local car Dealer or shop online and view their stock through their website. You can source cars through Auction houses like Pickles, Manheim, Grays, Fowles, Lloyds etc.. You can find cars offered for private sale and dealerships through online buying & selling platforms like Carsales, Gumtree, Trading Post, Cars Guide etc… 

All these car buying sources present potential buyers with varying terms of price value, risks in purchasing and variation in the quality of cars offered. As they say “ caveat emptor” – buyer beware- when purchasing a car. Not all sources are the same, they present different risks and benefits that should be assessed against your personal buying and risk preferences and experience.

Book A Test Drive

It is very important to do a test drive and thorough pre-purchase inspection on vehicles before you buy. 

By test-driving a car before you buy, it gives you the opportunity to closely experience the car inside and outside. Its load capacity, vision, ease of use, condition of its body and paint work that photos may not reveal accurately. You can assess the features, the working order, the condition and the performance of the car and all aspects of the drive experience.

 It also may identify obvious faults, especially if purchasing a used car. It test drive can identify faults in a cars interior, engine, transmission, suspension and brakes as you test drive the vehicle by identifying obvious noises and squeaks. You can assess the tyre condition and the ability of the car to start, idle and drive from cold to normal operating temperatures.

You can test drive the car at various speeds, locally and on the highway on good and poor roads to evaluate its true condition. Ideally, drive the vehicle on a test route in your neighbourhood or that mimics your normal driving conditions. You will be able to ensure that the cabin has all the needed comfort features and that the vehicle is comfortable enough for you to handle on a busy road or highway. 

This test drive will give you a better idea of the condition of the car and the driving comfort or functionality it might offer. 

Get Professional Support With My Car Buying Advocacy

If you are still having a tough time choosing the right vehicle then you should give My Car Buying Advocacy a call. These professionals will access all of your needs and will scour the market in search of a quality and reliable vehicle that will fit you and all of your commuting activities perfectly.

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