Buying a new set of wheels is serious business, and it is all too easy to make a mistake. And with new car prices well into the five figures and even quality used cars costing thousands, even a small blunder could lead to a big expense.
If you do not want to experience buyer’s remorse when your car shopping is over, you need to prepare carefully. Knowing what to look for and comparing carefully before you buy is the best way to protect yourself, and your wallet, from a costly mistake.
New vs. Used – Which is Better?
The first decision you need to make is whether to buy a brand new car or a gently used one. There are pros and cons to both approaches, and it is important to weigh your options carefully.
If you use your car for work or need it to impress your clients, it may be worthwhile to invest in a new car, especially if you can write off part of the cost against your business income. If you are simply looking for a reliable vehicle for the daily commute, however, there are arguments in favor of buying used. A well cared for late-model used car can be just as reliable as a brand new one – and far more affordable.
Know Your Insurance Costs
The monthly car payment is not the only expense you will face when buying a new vehicle. Insurance costs can be a big factor, but one that many Fairfax area drivers overlook.
It is important to know your insurance costs before making a final decision, as those expenses could tip the odds in favor of one or the other. You can get a ballpark figure by providing your insurance agent with the make, model and year of the vehicles you are considering, and the entire process should take only a few minutes of your time.
Total Cost of Ownership
When it comes to buying a new or used car, the cost of the vehicle is only part of the picture. The total cost of ownership is what really matters, and that figure includes not only the purchase price but expected repair costs as well.
Some vehicles are more reliable than others, and paying more for a more reliable set of wheels makes a lot of sense. It is important to look at the total expected cost of ownership, not just the initial purchase price, as you shop.
There are many things to consider when shopping for a new car, truck or SUV, and evaluating these factors is the best way to get a real value. Now that you know what to look for and how to shop, you can focus on finding the best vehicle for yourself and your family.