Car shopping can become very expensive and complex if you do not establish your needs in advance. It is not complicated; just stay focused on your choices. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Budget. Establish a monthly budget including the taxes if you are renting or financing your vehicle. However, if you plan on buying it cash, determine the maximum amount that you wish to spend.
- Needs. Define the necessary equipment as the cost of options, accessories or related products can quickly raise the price.
- Space. Choose the type of vehicle that suits your space needs, for example a truck, a car, a SUV. Fuel consumption, engine power, passengers, etc. must also be part of your basic criteria.
- Research. Research the manufacturers that match your criteria. The manufacturers websites are filled with information about their products and very useful shopping tools such as the Configure your vehicle tool that will guide your budget.
- Test drive. Take some time to request a test drive for every vehicle that you have in mind.
Need or luxury?
It is often hard not to be influenced by your desires. Who did not have a crush on a car in a showroom or on the road? Even if you are not a car lover, it is easy for a salesman to brag about the low extra costs per month implied by this or that option. Here are a few very actual examples, believe me!
$5 a month only for a spoiler, $10 for the sunroof, $20 for leather seats, etc. And just like that, your monthly fee has risen to $35… That is why you must stay focused!
The terms of the warranties offered by manufacturers vary. You must know that there are always two warranties that can influence your choice. The first if often called bumper to bumper and varies between 3 and 5 years and 60 to 100,000 km depending on whichever comes first and the second, the powertrain warranty is usually 5 years or 100,000 km. Not sure to buy an extended warranty? Ask yourself if the cost is worth it. Your broker can give you a hand.
You should not neglect insurance when you make your final decision. Take the time to compare with your insurance company because depending on the chosen model you could have bad surprises and forget about a model because of the steep price of having it insured. When your decision is made, you can begin shopping through an insurance broker or directly with companies. Too many consumers skip this step and significant savings can be made, believe me!