In 1888, the first automobile was produced by Karl Benz in Germany. Since then, the car buying market has been flooded with new models and makes from around the world. We now have cars that run on electricity and utilize self-driving functions.
Many new car buyers feel overwhelmed with the number of car buying options. However, with the right information, you can make a decision that will benefit you for the next 10 to 15 years. We’ve compiled all the basic information you need to know before making a big car buying decision. Keep reading to learn about major topics and frequently asked questions pertaining to the car buying process.
Similar to a home or other large purchase, buying a new vehicle takes strategic financial planning. Past the initial price tag, you will need to factor in monthly payments, routine maintenance, and resale value. Try using the following car financing options and tips:
Cars need routine maintenance such as oil changes and tire rotations to preserve longevity and reliability. These costs should be factored into your personal car budget. Your maintenance costs will vary based on the make of the car. A luxury brand, like BMW or Mercedes, is more expensive to maintain because of limited service stations and specialty parts.
If you ever plan on selling your car, you should consider the resale value. The resale value is determined by factors including mileage, number of owners, accident history, age, and overall upkeep.
This information helps the prospective car buyer determine the vehicle's reliability. The resale value of an older car can be used to purchase your next vehicle. Maximize your resale value by keeping up with car maintenance and avoiding reckless driving.
Cars models can help you categorize what you want out of your car. You can make a decision on seating, truck space, and doors by finding the right model for your needs. Once you have a decision on the model, you can start exploring the different car brands.
A major factor in choosing a car is the brand image. From the clothes we wear to the food we buy, consumer brands have internal associations that help build our own personal brand. A car purchase is no different.
While brand image is not the most important factor when buying a car, brands can help you make the final decision once you've narrowed down your options. Are you a mini-van or SUV family? Do you see yourself in a reliable Toyota corolla or a high-tech Tesla Model 3? Would you feel more confident in a pickup truck or a sports car? When choosing a car, pick the brand and model that best fits your lifestyle.
The market for used cars is just as popular as the market for new cars. Most dealerships today sell both new and used cars. The decision to buy new vs. used is based on your personal preference and car buying goals. Here are some general pros and cons to consider when deciding between a new vs. used car:
Information is thrown at you a hundred miles per hour when buying a car. You need to be able to understand the basic specifications of a car in order to purchase the car that makes sense for you. Before engaging in the car buying process, familiarize yourself with the following common car details such as fuel economy, price, towing capacity, seating, drivetrain, and safety features:
Buying a used car brings inherent risks that you need to be aware of. While you can usually get a better deal for a used car, you want to avoid any potential scams by knowing what to ask when buying a used car. This will be especially important when buying from a private owner. Here are a few questions you should discuss with your seller before buying:
Answers to these questions will help you determine the reliability of the car.
One way to lower your risk when buying a used car is to get one that is certified pre-owned. A certified pre-owned car means that the car has been examined, refurbished, and approved by a certified auto manufacturer or industry authority. Unlike other used cars, these cars can qualify for warranties and special financing opportunities. You will find certified pre-owned cars at local dealerships or through used car companies.
The best time to buy a used car is October through December. This is also the best time to buy a new car. During the last few months of the year, car dealerships are pressed to meet their quotas and make room for new car models. During this time, people will be trading in their used vehicle for money towards their new car. This is a great time to take advantage of the increased inventory and options when buying a used car.
Of course, if you need a car sooner, you can start your search whenever is best for you. Try to anticipate when you will need a replacement vehicle to give yourself enough time to find the right deal and model.
The make of a car is another way to refer to the car brand. The car model is the specific type of car within that brand. For a Toyota Prius, the car’s make is Toyota and the car model is Prius.
According to Forbes, the car brands with the lowest depreciation rates over a five-year period are Toyota, Ram, Jeep, Honda, and Porshe. Pickup and SUV models are also shown to retain a high value in the current market. A car’s rate of depreciation depends on market forces, specifically supply and demand. Vehicles in higher demand will depreciate at a lower rate. The best car brands supply reliable vehicles that can maintain quality after several owners. In contrast, a luxury vehicle, such as a Maserati, is known to depreciate at one of the highest rates among car models.
Most dealerships will help you fill out the necessary paperwork to register your new car with the DMV. You will usually receive your license plate within two to three weeks of your new purchase.
Whether you are buying a used or new car, you will need to bring insurance and identification documents. You should bring the following items with you to the dealership:
The best way to choose the right car brand is to do your research. Look up online reviews from trusted sources to find owner satisfaction ratings. are easy to spot because they are high in demand and rated well by consumers. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, go to the dealership to examine the car in person. Sit inside, play with the features, and take the car for a test drive.
Check out our rankings for the best car brands and find the right car for you.