A car is easily one of the more expensive things you can buy brand new. For many people, however, it is a necessary purchase. Picking the perfect car can be an overwhelming affair, with new models loaded with different features coming out every year.
Some models look good but may not offer as much as others with more features, making it challenging to choose the best vehicle. The key is to find the right balance between looks and power. CarGuard Administration recommends these steps to help you find the perfect mix of function and form:
Know Your Needs First
When choosing a car, the driver’s needs should be the priority. A car is more than just a transport vehicle. It could also be a means to conduct business, support a hobby or recreational interest, or be a tool for sports. Knowing what you need will help you avoid spending more on your car.
Consider what needs will be met and fulfilled by having a car. Keep in mind that a single person will not have the same needs as a married person with kids. Make a list of your priorities and consider the activities for which the use of the car is necessary.
For example, some people may need a car for commuting or for driving to and from work, while others may need a vehicle to chauffeur kids to school and baseball practice. Others may want a car that they can use for off-road activities or take on long drives for camping. If you have children and like to travel, choosing a two-door vehicle isn’t a practical option.
Being able to separate your needs from your wants will help you zero in on the right type and model of vehicle to buy, along with the features to choose.
Consider Vehicle Size and Garage Space
Some people purchase a car without thinking about parking space. Driveway spaces can create problems, especially with neighbors. Larger cars such as trucks and SUVs usually have issues with parking spaces. Having a dedicated space for your car is also a safety concern that you should consider carefully.
Set a Cap on the Price
The next issue is affordability. Only purchase a car you can comfortably pay for. If you could, purchase a car in cash. Most dealerships will offer it at a better price, so you can enjoy some savings.
If buying in cash is out of the question, there are financing options you can look at that will fit your finances. Keep in mind that monthly car payments are not the only expenses you will have to pay for. There is also car insurance, registration, fuel, maintenance, and repairs to consider.
As a rule of thumb, make sure that your monthly car payment is 15% or less than your monthly net income. This should give you a comfortable amount of cash to spend on other necessities. If it can be helped, avoid paying for a single vehicle over 60 months. This usually happens when you purchase a car with a higher price tag.
Decide Between Leasing and Buying
Buying a car has a sense of permanency to it. Once the vehicle is paid for, it is yours. On the other hand, leasing is one option you might want to consider if the budget is tight. A car lease usually comes with little to no down payment, and the monthly payments are lower.
You get to choose among the latest models with the most desirable features and technology and do not have to worry about most repairs since these will be covered by a factory warranty. However, your “ownership” of the car ends when the lease contract ends. The leasing company may also charge you for mileage penalties if you drive long distances.
If you purchase a car, however, you will own the car and have the option to sell it later. You can also make modifications to the vehicle if and when you do.
Schedule a test drive once you have picked a few cars that meet your criteria. Many dealerships will gladly assist you so you can get a feel of the specific model you are eyeing. A test drive will give you a good idea of whether the car is the right fit for you.
Make Sure Your Car is Protected
A car, regardless of what it will ultimately be used for, is an investment. The best way to ensure that you get the most out of it is to protect it. CarGuard Administration offers a Vehicle Protection Plan that provides coverage for your car.
CarGuard offers five different protection plans: Flat Rate, Prepaid Maintenance, Powertrain, Gold, and Platinum. Each plan is designed to meet the protection needs of different drivers and car owners, from liabilities and cash value to the replacement of covered parts. Plans even offer roadside assistance and coverage for rental cars.
Do You Have Sufficient Protection?
CarGuard Administration goes beyond the protection that a manufacturer’s warranty can offer. A manufacturer’s warranty offers basic protection wherein any defective parts are replaced or repaired but only within a specified time period.
A protection plan from a company like CarGuard Administration, on the other hand, extends the coverage further, ensuring that the vehicle is covered even after the expiration of the manufacturer’s warranty. It also provides coverage for problems and issues that are not usually covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
A manufacturer’s warranty, for example, will not cover accidental damage beyond a certain number of miles or time period, but a protection plan can. Other issues, such as fire, water contamination, misuse, improper repairs, and problems due to wear and tear may also be covered.
With CarGuard Administration, you are assured of better coverage and even freedom from worries about your car purchase. After all, it is an investment you need to protect so you can enjoy it for many years. It pays to know what you want and what options are available so you can make an informed decision to protect your investment.