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Before You Buy: A Car Buying Checklist
There are actually four areas to consider When buying a car. You must determine:
The car you need (rather need)
Value of the vehicle (what is it worth)
Financial considerations for the purchase (how you will pay for it)
and the mechanical integrity of the car (is it mechanically sound)
Of course, there are some differences between each make and model, but we’ll cover a broad brush stroke of the topics in the form of a bulleted checklist.
Car Buying Checklist: Determining the Right Vehicle for You
When you buy a car, There are good things and things that are necessary. It is up to you to decide which is which. If you live in a temperate climate, you may decide that air conditioning is a good idea. On the other hand, if you live in Dallas, Texas, or Gwinn, Michigan, you may need air conditioning and heating for the summer or winter months, respectively.
Likewise, if you often do business from your car Or take the kids on a long road trip, you might consider built-in Internet service a must. If, on the other hand, everyone in the family has their own phone or tablet with Internet access, a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot will be necessary.
• Create your perfect car. Do your homework and visit the automaker’s website to see the features available on different makes and models. Make a list of what you want in a vehicle. It may not be the vehicle you ultimately purchase all who good– to be But it should be all need– to be If you make a list, you can find the best fit to match your preferences.
• Determine what it’s worth. There are many sites to determine the price. Edmunds, and Kelley Blue Book are popular sites for pricing a vehicle based on its features and condition. If you have a trade-in, be sure to determine the value of your existing vehicle as well, as this will be part of the deal.
• Determine what you can do. If you plan to pay cash, the decision is easy. If you plan to finance your purchase, however, your credit score directly affects the interest rate on your loan. Credit scores below 690 usually carry higher rates. Remember, the cost of the car is its price tag minus any trade-in value and incentives. This includes interest paid on any loan financing. Financial literacy resources like The Financial Acumen Course teach you how to improve your credit score to save you money. It’s up to you to protect your credit and avoid being exploited by predatory lenders, so shop around. Don’t overstretch yourself on credit by buying more cars than you can afford.
• Inspect the vehicle before you buy. You want to buy a reliable vehicle, not a maintenance headache. Any used vehicle purchase is a buyer-beware situation, even if it is through a reputable dealer. If you have a mechanic, expect to pay something between $100 and $200 for a full vehicle inspection. If you don’t have a mechanic, there are a few stop-gap options. You can take the vehicle to a third-party repair shop that performs state inspections as a cheaper option. Or, if you are comfortable and knowledgeable, you can inspect the vehicle yourself. Other things like brakes, mufflers and suspension, Check the oil. A lot can be said about the condition of the engine by looking at the oil condition of the vehicle.
Self-inspection on the vehicle takes a short time. It’s dirty work, but if you’re familiar with cars, it’s your cheapest option. A pre-purchase inspection is essential both for peace of mind and to reduce hidden maintenance costs.
Once you find the perfect vehicle fit, Once you’ve made sure you have the means to pay for it, and checked its mechanical integrity, you’re ready to move forward with your new set of wheels.
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