There is no argument that housing prices have continued to rise over the last couple of years making it the largest single purchase most people will make in their lifetime. However with the prices of the average new car now nearing $30,000 they are definitely the second largest purchase many of us will make by far. By keeping this in mind you can help ensure that this important decision should be made carefully and not in a hurried or rushed, knee jerk decision that many car dealerships seem to bully most of their customers into.
To make sure that you don’t make a mistake and that you buy the best possible vehicle for you and that it will accomplish all that you need it to you should do a little research and some soul searching as well.
To start, consider your present situation of whether you are single or have a family. If you have a family and this will be the primary mode of transportation to shuttle everyone out and around then you may want to consider a minivan. For those soccer moms and hockey dads out there the new dual sliding door or even the single sliding door minivans offer serious convenience, plenty of room and decent fuel economy considering the load you can handle with it.
If you, like many others can’t quite see yourself in a minivan you may want to consider a sport utility which are really growing in popularity. The great thing about these vehicles is that they are available in all makes and in several price ranges to cater to everybody’s budget. You can choose between a smaller, cheaper sport utility like the Ford Explorer, or get into a larger vehicle like the Chevy Suburban or maybe a Ford Expedition. Either way you get some of the convenience features of the minivan with that rugged jeep type of look.
If you are an outdoors mountain junky that enjoys going camping and hanging out with friends in the woods or going on weekend surf trips you may want to consider the sporty new Nissan Pathfinder or another 4x4 vehicle that can get you to where you need to go without the worry of how you’re getting back out. The Pathfinder is designed with the outdoor lover in mind with built in roof racks and storage standard. However with any vehicle that you may be considering don’t be talked into 4-wheel drive unless you really need it and intend to use it regularly. There are some big things to consider with a 4-wheel drive like, 4-wheel drive transmissions add thousands to the price, is much heavier, and will also cost you more money for insurance and gasoline due to decreased gas mileage.
Deciding on a color may seem easy right now but if you change your cars every couple of years then you have to keep resale value in mind. Although many will say color is a matter of personal preference there are a few guidelines you should follow for particular types of vehicles if you are concerned about resale value. Regardless what type of vehicle you purchase stay away from “out of the norm” colors like purple or yellow unless you plan to keep the vehicle forever. Another color that has been proven to be “cold” for resale in light blue or “ice blue” as it is known in the industry. If you plan to trade every 2-4 years you are far better off choosing a normal color like white, silver, beige, etc. If you are planning to buy a sports car you will definitely want to stay with white, red, or black.
For your interior choices you may have the choice of leather, vinyl or cloth. Although leather is really nice and smells great to most, you must be the type of person who will take the time necessary to maintain leather, also keep in mind that leather can be unbearably hot in the summer and unless the seats are heated, they are very cold in the winter. If you do plan on getting into a sports utility or something similar then check out the vinyl, it’s cheaper than leather but is really durable and you don’t fell you’re going to rip the seat every time you get in the car or truck.
You will also want to take insurance cost into consideration when choosing a car, especially if buying for a teenager. Overall, sports cars and 4-wheel drives are more expensive to insure, not too mention a lot more to fix if you run into any repair issues.
Another good move before you head to the car dealership is to consult a local mechanic and ask them what cars they have the most problems with. They can tell you which cars they see with the most problems and what the common problems are. Not only will you get an idea of what cars are good but more importantly, which cars to steer clear of! (Excuse the pun)
So as you can see, walking into a dealer and buying the first thing they push on you can be a bad move unless you have money to burn. Take the time to think it over and come up with some guidelines of your own that cover your present situation so that your new car purchase will be a pleasant one and not the car buying nightmare you hear about more often than not.
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