Fitting in to Your Life: How to Choose a Car That’s Right for Your Lifestyle

how to choose a car

Did you know that about 20 percent of people who buy a car end up regretting it within a matter of just minutes?

Once the initial adrenaline rush wears off, there are a lot of people who regret buying a car because of the price of it. There are also others who quickly find out that they don’t like all the features inside of a car.

When you know how to choose a car, you’ll be able to steer clear of ever putting yourself into this position. You’ll love the next car that you buy, and you’ll rest assured knowing that it fits well within your current lifestyle.

Here is how to choose a car that you’ll enjoy driving for many years to come.

Create a Budget

How much can you afford to spend on a new car?

That is the very first question that you should ask yourself before you start asking things like, “What kind of car should I get?” Your budget will play a big role in what kind of car you can actually afford to buy.

Crunch the numbers and see how much money you can afford to spend every month on a car when you finance it. Or better yet, take a look at how much money you have set aside in your savings account to purchase a new vehicle.

This will help you come up with a number as far as how much you have to spend on a car. You shouldn’t go a single penny over that number since it could potentially lead to car-buying regrets later.

Consider Your Needs

The next question you should ask yourself after you come up with a budget is “What am I going to use my car for?”

Are you going to use it for:

  • Driving to and from work every day?
  • Shuttling your kids and all their friends around?
  • Working as a ridesharing driver?
  • Taking part in recreational activities?
  • Making deliveries on behalf of your business?

If your car is mostly going to be used for commuting 50 miles to and from work on a daily basis, you’ll likely want something compact that gets good gas mileage.

But if your car is going to be used for camping every weekend, something slightly larger that will fit your whole family could be in the cards for you. Read more here about the kind of car you’ll need for your camping adventures.

Look at Your Options

Once you know how much you can afford to spend on a car and what you’re going to use your car for, look around at the different options that will suit you best.

There are dozens of different car companies that are out there. There are also many different car styles, ranging from tiny cars that’ll barely fit two people to gigantic SUVs that can fit families of 10.

Your goal should be to try and choose the car company that you like best before narrowing down your search and honing in on the kind of car you want.

Take Cars for Test Drives

After you have a good idea of what kind of car you want to buy, it’ll be time for you to take a few vehicles out for test drives. This will allow you to see what each car has to offer out on the road.

While you’re test driving cars, ask yourself some questions about your experiences driving them. Ask questions like:

  • “Is this car comfortable?”
  • “Do I like the way it drives?”
  • “Does it allow me to see the road clearly?”
  • “Is there anything that I wish was different about the car?”
  • “Is the car guzzling gas quicker than I would expect it to?”

You can tell a lot about a car by taking it out for a quick test drive. You should be able to knock a few options off your list based on how cars drive.

Avoid Unnecessary Features

Car salespeople will do their best to sell you on all the features that are inside a car. From advanced safety features to killer audio equipment, they’ll point out many of these features in an attempt to make you think that you have to have them.

Some of these features–especially the majority of the safety features–will come in handy. But you won’t even get around to using most of the features when you buy a car.

Rather than basing your car-buying decision on these features, spend most of your time thinking about how different cars drive. That’s what’s truly important.

Think About Maintenance

After you buy a car, you’re going to be in charge of maintaining it. You’ll need to perform oil changes, rotate the tires, and make the necessary repairs.

Do your homework to see how much people typically pay to maintain and repair the car that you want to buy. Basic maintenance services will usually start at somewhere around $100 per year and go up from there.

Keep the Future in Mind

Most people are hanging onto their cars for a long time these days. Studies have shown that the average person keeps their car for about 7 years.

Will the car that you’re thinking about buying today still work for you and your family in 7 years? That’s a question you’ll have to ask yourself before signing on the dotted line.

A small compact car might sound great to you when you’re single with no one else to worry about. But if you plan on getting married in the next couple years and starting a family, that car won’t work for you for very long.

Keep the future in mind at all times when you’re buying a car. Ideally, you want something that will work for years to come.

Know How to Choose a Car Before Shopping For One

Buying a new car can be a confusing process if you don’t put any thought into it beforehand. You could very well end up driving off a dealer’s lot with something you’ll hate in a year or two.

Learn how to choose a car prior to car shopping, and it’ll increase your chances of finding a vehicle you love. You’ll be a lot better off when you do the necessary research and consider which car will be right for your lifestyle.

Take a look at our blog for more tips on buying a car.