Tips for choosing the right car for you

Shopping for a car can be both exciting and daunting — it is the second largest purchase you’re likely to make aside from a home. 

So how do you choose the vehicle that’s right for you, and for your budget? Here are some tips on how to shop and what to look for.

Tip #1: Access your needs
Questions to ask yourself:

  • How will you be using the vehicle?
  • How many passengers will you carry?
  • How far will you be driving (think fuel efficiency)?
  • What safety features are you looking for? 
  • Will you need to tow anything?
  • How much parking space do you have?

Tip #2: Set your budget and stick to it
Questions to ask yourself:

  • What are the insurance rates for the vehicle?
  • What’s better for you, financing or a lease
  • What will general maintenance and repair fees be?

Leasing pros:
– You can drive a more expensive car for less
– Most repairs will be covered under warranty
– You can drive a new car every few years

Financing pros:
– You can sell the car whenever you want
– No mileage penalties
– Your car expenses are likely to be lower long-term

Driving

Tip #3: Start your research
Finding cars for sale has never been easier. Here are some of the ways you can see what’s out there:

  • Visit a dealership
  • Look online at dealership websites
  • If you’re looking to purchase a used vehicle, you can also check sites like Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace
  • Used vehicles are also visible online through approved resale dealer sites

Tip #4: Take a test drive

  • See the vehicle in-person
  • Take it on city streets as well as the highway to see how it handles
  • Check out all seating and cargo space
  • Ask a lot of questions (to the dealer or private seller):
    – What are the features?
    – What warranties are included?
    – What are comparable vehicles on the market?

Tip #5: Make an informed decision

If after your test drives you’re sure, you can feel confident that you’ve found the right vehicle for you. If not, sleep on it. Try not to rush this important decision. With so many models on the market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Select the vehicle that fits your needs and makes sense for how you intend to use it.

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