I’ve always found the experience of buying cars to be an interesting one. Because there are some many different makes and models on the market, one is invariably spoilt for choice when it comes to making a decision on the vehicle that they are going to spend their hard-earned cash on.
At this present moment in time I am currently buying a car, and, at first, my task seemed somewhat challenging due to the immense choice of cars available for purchase, but I followed these top tips to comparing cars until I decided on the one I wanted to buy!
Image credit: NRMA New Cars
Decide on a budget
First and foremost, you need to decide how much you want to spend on your next car. Not only will this lower the amount of choices available to you, but it will ensure that you do not spend above your means and potentially end up in hot financial water if you cannot afford your car!
The easiest way to work out how much you can afford to spend on your car is by determining what savings you have available to you. If you have none, your only choice will be to borrow the money to buy one; this is fine (millions of people do this every day), but you need to work out whether you can afford the finance payments or not.
Decide on your requirements
In my case, I needed to buy an estate car for the purposes of transporting many humans and pet dogs simultaneously. You might live alone and just want a fast sports car with only two seats in it, or you might live out in the sticks and need a 4×4 to drive on rough terrain.
Whatever your requirements, only shortlist cars that are suitable for them. One of the worst things you can do is look around car showrooms such as Sandles car supermarket and just fall in love with different sorts of cars!
The main car types that people regularly opt for are hatchbacks, saloons (sedans), estates (wagons), 4x4s and sports cars.
Calculate likely running costs
Now that you have a shortlist of possible cars to choose from based on your budget and requirements, the next step is to work out roughly how much each car will cost you to keep on the road.
Apart from the usual tax and insurance costs that all motorists need to pay for, you will also have to determine how much it will cost to fill up your tank with petrol or diesel, and how often you will need to do so.
Heavier cars or those with bigger engines tend to have lower fuel economy levels than lighter cars or those with lighter engines.
You will also need to find out how much it would cost to service and maintain the car. For example, if you buy a Chevrolet, your servicing bills will be much cheaper than if you bought a BMW, partly to do with the complexities each engine exhibits when it comes to performing minor or major servicing work, and partly because of what the main dealers charge per hour.