2014-03-06 / Lifestyles

Things to consider before purchasing a new car


Prospective buyers should consider a host of factors before purchasing a new vehicle. Prospective buyers should consider a host of factors before purchasing a new vehicle. Buyers often find the process of finding a new car fun. Test driving vehicles and playing with all of the gadgets that today’s increasingly tech-heavy vehicles have to offer can be akin to kids visiting a candy store and being given carte blanche to fill up their baskets.

But as enjoyable as finding a new car can be, the financial commitment that such a purchase requires can make the process somewhat nervewracking as well. Buyers often assign the most risk to preowned vehicles, and rightfully so. But some buyers even regret their purchases after buying a new car, whether the car does not suit their lifestyle as much as they had hoped or the vehicle simply isn’t living up to the expectations drivers had for it at the time of purchase. Savvy buyers will consider the following factors before taking the keys to their next new cars.

* Additional costs: Many new car shoppers plan to finance or lease their vehicles, but the down payment and monthly payment is not the only number buyers must confirm before buying a vehicle. After the purchase price and monthly payments have been figured out, the two most significant costs buyers must consider are insurance and gas. Some vehicles cost more to insure than others, and the cost of a policy will depend on more than just a buyer’s personal driving history. The vehicle’s safety features, where a driver lives and the type of vehicle, both its make and model and the category it fits into (i.e., sports car, luxury vehicle, etc.), are all going to be used to determine the cost of an insurance policy.

Buyers also must consider how much a vehicle will cost to fuel up before making a final decision. Many a driver has grinned when driving a brand new SUV off a dealership lot, only to frown on that first trip to the filling station. Insurance companies typically provide free estimates to prospective customers, so do your homework on the different makes and models you’re considering, getting an insurance quote for each vehicle. In addition, consider the expected fuel costs of each vehicle before making a decision.

* Reputation: Thanks to the Internet, today’s vehicle buyers have a valuable tool at their disposal that those of yesteryear rarely had: their fellow drivers. When considering certain makes and models, go online to see what fellow drivers and professional reviewers have to say about a given vehicle. Sites like Edmunds.com and Safecar.gov offer professional assessments of various makes and models, while various message boards exist to allow drivers to review the performance of their vehicles. Such resources are invaluable and can paint a realistic picture of what it might be like to own and drive a particular automobile.

* Resale value: While selling a car you don’t even own yet is probably not foremost on your mind, it is important to consider a car’s potential resale value before buying it. The high costs of new vehicles has pushed many buyers out of the new car market, making preowned vehicles a more affordable and attractive option. So considering a car’s potential resale value before buying it new is a smart move that can pay dividends down the road when you’re back on the market for a new vehicle. Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) is a valuable resource to gauge the resale value of vehicles, and buyers can even calculate the resale value of a car over its first five years. This can help consumers determine which options to get on their new cars and even help to govern their driving habits in an effort to keep the vehicle’s resale value as high as possible.

When buying a new vehicle, it can be tempting to buy the most visually stunning or gadgetheavy vehicle on the dealership lot. But buyers should consider more than just appearance and accessories before buying their next new car.

Prospective buyers should consider a host of factors before purchasing a new vehicle.

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