Driver’s license: check. Savings for a new car: check. Parking spot permit for your building: check. Congratulations! You’ve covered the basic auto-shopper checklist, so you must be ready to head to the lot, right? Wrong! It’s best not to shop for a new car unarmed, and the best armor is knowledge – so do your research! Here are some key areas that you should be looking up beforehand:
Generally, before even beginning to visit dealerships and perform test drives, you’ll want to establish a budget and only look for vehicles within that price-range. Remember that you’ll also be paying for auto insurance, maintenance and of course, fuel – so all of these should be included in your budget! Once you’ve narrowed down all of the budget-friendly makes and models, you can start visiting car dealerships.
Because auto manufacturers offer so many features in their vehicles these days, choosing the right ones can be extremely challenging. A recent graduate of auto sales college can help you sift through all of the options and find the ones that are right for you – the last thing you want to do is spend money on features you really don’t need! Some of the most common features include:
- Remote entry
- Heated seats
- In-car WiFi
- Leather seats
Though you probably don’t want to spend the extra money on in-car WiFi or navigation (because these are things you probably already have on you mobile device) – you might opt for the heated seats and remote entry (especially if you’ll be driving through the brutal Canadian winters). As for leather seats, anyone with a professional auto career can confirm that the synthetic option might be the best choice if you’re on a budget. “Leatherette” is low-maintenance and very simple to clean – the best part is that it looks very similar to real leather (but, without the hefty price tag).
This is probably the most important thing to consider when you’re buying a car – especially if you have children or plan to drive with passengers on-board. While today’s vehicles are generally made very safe, there are some cars that tend to be safer than others. Here are some areas to consider when you’re looking into the safety of a vehicle:
- Curtain and console airbags
- Electronic stability control
- Safety alert systems
- Antilock brake system
- Tractions control
Annually, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ensures that every vehicle undergoes a range of collision tests. The vehicles are then rated based on these tests – so don’t forget to check the IIHS crash test ratings of the cars that you’re considering.
Unfortunately, nothing is built to last forever. Though you might think that (with the amount of money you’ll be spending) a car should in fact last forever – it won’t. The truth is you’ll be bringing it to your local automotive service technician for maintenance eventually, so it’s best to be informed about your warranty before that happens! Note that the best warranties will cover your maintenance costs for at least three to four years.
What else would you research before buying a new car?