How are you paying for it?
Let's start with the most obvious one. How you're able to pay for a car can make a big difference. If you're buying a car outright, do you have the budget for what you want? Or if you can't afford to put down your life savings in one go, can get a finance agreement to space out the repayments. Find out whether you can get a discount by trading in your old car in exchange. If you're buying a car because your old one is beyond repair, then there are plenty of places where you can sell damaged cars quickly and easily.
How does it drive?
Of course, no one would put money down on a car without taking it for a test drive. That much is obvious. What people tend to neglect is the fact that you can only get so much of an idea of what car's like with a single drive. Make sure you go for at least two or three test drives. Try to vary the weather and time of day when you drive it as well. The car might feel like the best thing in the world on a warm, dry day. But when the weather turns wet and cold it could end up being a stiff, skidding mess. Don't worry about the dealer, if they want to make the sale, they'll be more than willing to let you try out the car until you're entirely sure.
What are the continuing costs?
Sadly, the price of a car isn't just limited to what you put down when you first pay for it. In fact, there's a decent chance that, over the years, you'll end up paying far more to run the thing that you did to buy it. How much you want to end up spending to keep the car running will make a big difference to what car you end up buying. You might be in love with the big, powerful Dodge, but you might just fall back out of love when you get a look at the gas prices. On the other hand, a hatchback might be a little less exciting but will help you save huge amounts of money in the long run. You should also look into how cheap and available parts for the car are in your area. That way you'll have a better chance of saving money on repairs as well.
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