4 Things to Consider When Buying a Car

4 Things to Consider When Buying a Car


For many, the car-buying process is a big pain.  Not only is a new vehicle many people’s biggest expense besides their home, but the buying process itself can make one’s head spin. The upside is that the internet has put countless resources at our fingertips, allowing for ample research and plenty of preparation instead of just cruising car lots.  

When it’s time to purchase your next vehicle, you can do so anxiety-free if you take a few things into consideration and do some homework on the front end.  Some of the most important decisions can be made before you ever even contact a dealership.  You’ll need to consider your budget, the vehicle needs you have, whether you want to purchase new or used and finally, you’ll need to research the vehicles available in your area.


What’s Your Budget?

It’s really important to set a budget at the outset.  You’ll also need to decide whether you’re going to pay cash, finance or lease your new car.  If financing or leasing, you’ll probably want an idea of what kind of payment works in your monthly budget.  

Also remember that you will need to pay sales tax and registration on top of the price of the vehicle and make sure you add in other vehicle costs such as insurance and any extras, like extended warranty coverage.  There are many great auto loan calculators available online that you can use to work with the numbers until you're comfortable with your payment or budgeted vehicle cost.


What are your vehicle needs?

It’s important to think carefully about what you need and want in your next vehicle before you get to the purchase point.  Maybe you need all-wheel drive for snowy winters.  Perhaps you need 3rd row seating for a larger family.  Many people want to upgrade their cars for the new technology and/or safety features like bluetooth music streaming and lane assist.  Think about how you plan to use your vehicle and what fits your lifestyle.  It’s helpful to make a list of the features you have to have so you have perfect clarity while shopping.


Do you want to purchase a new or used car?

This can be a big decision. People are drawn to new cars because they are covered by manufacturer’s warranties and are generally the most reliable.  However, the average price of a brand new car has risen to over $36,000 according to Edmunds.  In order for a family with median income to finance such a hefty loan, buyers are more and more taking out longer loans, meaning they are upside down on the loan for longer.  If you’re looking at new cars, a late-model used vehicle could still offer most of the latest features of a new vehicle but with a much more attractive price tag due to the major depreciation hit occurring in the first 2 years of new car ownership.  Late-model used vehicles also generally have manufacturer’s warranty coverage for added comfort that you won’t have any major repair expenses to factor in for a while.  If you’re on a tight budget, research older vehicles that are considered the most reliable and look for a clean Carfax report if at all possible.  


What vehicles are available in your area?

Now that the major planning and decisions are behind you, you can get to the fun part of searching for your next vehicle!  There are a multitude of websites that can help you research and compare actual vehicles in your market and most reputable auto dealers host all of their inventory online, making it pretty simple to find out who might have the next car of your dreams. This is not a time to skimp on research.  If you want to be happy with your large purchase for years ahead, it’s worth it to spend some extra time shopping around.  If you’re willing to travel to another city for the right car at the right price, you can expand your search further.  Remember, you can shop EchoPark locations in Denver, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston and Charlotte!


Good luck with your vehicle search and happy motoring!

Categories: Inventory, People