Most people actually completely fail to ask themselves this first question when they are buying a vehicle, and more often than not it comes back to haunt them. Let’s not forget that money is a big part of this whole process - no vehicle is entirely cheap to buy, and you want to be sure that you are not going to regret spending the money on any particular vehicle. To be sure of that, you first need to decide on how much you are willing to spend, and that is where your budget comes in. Working out your budget is actually pretty simple. For most people, their needs will determine what they can and cannot afford, and that pretty much answers the question for them. However, you might still also want to decide on a minimum spend for your budget. This can be a useful way of ensuring that you don’t completely cheap out, and end up with something which might not actually do you any favors at all. With a lower and an upper limit, you can be certain that you will find the right kind of priced vehicle no matter what. But how do you actually determine those limits?
Basically, you will probably need to carry out some research first. Look into the average costs of the kind of vehicle that you are thinking of buying. Do this before you officially start your search, and that way you will be more prepared for how much you should expect to spend. As long as you are prepared regarding what money you are likely to spend, you should be able to make the most of that money - and that will mean a much more satisfying purchase all round. Work out your budget as closely as you can, and then do everything in your power to actually stick to it. This really does make a huge difference to the overall experience of buying that vehicle that you so need.
What is your style?
What are your needs?
First of all, what kind of use do you tend to get out of your vehicle? For this, you need to think about your general, everyday driving. Do you tend to drive a lot, including commuting, or do you just drive it to the shops on weekends? Answer this, and you will know firstly whether you need a car, van or something else. You will also begin to get an idea of the size of vehicle that you probably need. Similarly, think about how many passengers you are usually going to have. If you know this quite well, then you can narrow down your search pretty quickly and easily, so this is worth thinking about extensively and early on in the process.
Once you have answered the basics, you can work down to the smaller details of what you need from your vehicle. Do you prefer one type of transmission over another? What about fuel type, are you concerned with only using diesel, for example? Do you need a vehicle that has automatic windows, or is that optional? Really getting down to the details of what you need will mean that you are more likely to end up with a vehicle which will gladden your heart as you drive away. Spend as long as you can on this section, as it is likely to prove the most essential part of all, and will pave the way for happier driving for many years to come.
Who is your dealer?
Some people actually have a preferred dealer that they like to go to. If that is you, then you should very much consider whether they are still your go-to, or if you would like to try somewhere else. There might well be many occasions when it seems as though you should try somewhere else. For example, you might have decided that you need a specific brand of car, such as a Ford. You should therefore try to find somewhere where you can find new ford cars as easily as possible. This might mean carrying out some research on your local area, or perhaps even further afield. Attempting to find the right dealer is likely to prove one of the most difficult, and yet most essential, parts of this whole process. After all, you need to be able to trust the person you are buying your car from. Make sure that you stick to reputable dealers whom you feel you can trust - but don’t forget that you shouldn’t rule out private sellers. Often, private sellers have some of the best deals, and they can even prove to be a faster sale. But you should make sure that you are doing everything you can to keep on top of their safety procedures. After all, there is no point in risking it with your own life.
What are your financial obligations?
Working out something of this complexity can be hard, as you never really know what is going to happen in the future. But you should try your hardest to figure it out as best as you can, as that way you are much more likely to end up with a vehicle which you can actually genuinely afford - and that will make a huge difference to whether or not you are happy with it. Try to figure out your general monthly budget, and then take into account the relative and likely costs of the vehicle you are considering purchasing. Does it all add up? If it looks as though you will struggle to keep that particular vehicle on the road, then it is probably wise to look elsewhere instead. Only buy a vehicle when you are confident that you can really afford it.
** This is a collaborative post