There are a few things you need to think about first, like what car do I want and what can I really afford.
Keep reading to learn how to answer these questions the right way to help you find a car you’ll love.
Check Your Credit Score
Before you even start shopping for a new car, you need to do a little research, starting with your own credit score.
Any time you need a loan to purchase a car, you’re going to need to submit to a credit check. Your credit score helps lenders decide whether you’re likely to be able to repay them.
Unfortunately, if you have a lot of debt, have made late payments in the past, or have applied for a lot of loans or credit cards lately, your credit score might be far from perfect.
On average, new car buyers have a credit score of 715. Those buying used had an average credit score of 662.
It is possible to buy a car with a lower score. But it’s best to be aware that with a lower score, you might not be able to get a loan for a more expensive vehicle.
Understand Your Financing Options
With your credit score in mind, the next step in how to choose a car is to look at your financing options. While the actual terms will vary from one loan company and vehicle to the next, having an idea of what your payments and loan rates could be will help you better decide which cars are in your budget.
Is your credit score less than perfect because of past mistakes, but you’ve found that you can afford the payments on a more expensive vehicle?
You may be able to submit proof of income (of course, you’ll only have this if your employer has a payroll company still processing your payments during the worldwide pandemic!) to convince lenders to trust you.
Decide “What Car Do I Want” Before You Shop
Now that you’ve gotten through the boring part of buying a car, it’s time for the fun part; deciding “what kind of car do I want?”
This is something that you’ll need to decide for yourself. While it’s a good idea to focus on the practical aspects of buying a car, if you can afford it, it isn’t wrong to choose a car you love, too.
There are a few things you should consider when you’re making your decision. If you have a lengthy commute, you’ll want something with good gas mileage. If you have a large family, you’ll need a seat for everyone.
If you decide to buy used, make sure that you balance out the savings of an older, higher mileage vehicle against what you could be spending for repairs soon after you drive it off the lot.
If you are looking for a new car, or even a used one, deciding on the right make and model before you shop will help you avoid falling for flashy car dealership gimmicks.
Don’t Be Afraid to Shop Around
Once you’ve found the make and model vehicle that you want, it’s time to shop. Even if you find it at the first dealership you visit and the price is in your budget, don’t buy.
Shopping around, even at just a few dealerships closest to your home, could save you thousands of dollars on your new ride.
How to Choose a Car You Love
By checking your credit score and researching financing options, deciding “What car do I want” before you start shopping, and shopping around, you can find a car that not only suits your needs, but also one you love.
Now that you’ve got a new set of wheels, check out the travel section of our blog to find the perfect road trip to try it out on!