Shopping for a car can be fun and exciting if you take some time to do research and prepare yourself. Once you have identified a particular make and model of car that you are interested in, here are a few items to research before you go much further.
How much can you afford?
The first thing you should consider before even looking at new car is what your budget is. A common rule of thumb is to allot no more than 15% of your gross pay to a car payment. Once you know that number, you will then know if you’re in the market for a new or used car. It will also help you determine what make and model of new cars you are in the market for.
How many miles per gallon would you like?
Do some research on a car’s gas mileage and find out what level of fuel efficiency you would like. Some find it instructive to see how far you can go on one tank of fuel. If you take freeways most of the time, then check on the car’s highway miles or vice versa if you live in the city with stop and go traffic. If you are buying an electric car, consider the range it has and look into nearby charging stations or places you can plug in if you are on the road and start running low.
Know Your Credit Score
Whether you have a good or bad credit history, the finance department at Falls Motor City, suggests should know what your credit score is. Having a higher or lower credit score may affect the interest rate your car dealer offers you. If you have a lower credit score, then you can most likely expect to pay a higher monthly payment.
How long the car lasts?
All cars are built differently and some last longer than others. Go on-line and see what people are saying about how long they have owned the make/model you are considering. As you likely know, some car makes have a reputation of lasting far longer than others. Consumer Reports is a good place to see how various car makes and models rank in terms of longevity.
Secure a Cosigner (If You Think You Will Need It)
Like being aware of your credit score prior to starting shopping for your car, if you think that you will need a cosigner for a car loan, try to find someone who will be willing to cosign for you before you go to the dealership. Generally speaking, finding a co-signer will take a little leg work. It’s not the sort of thing that you do quickly while waiting for a car dealer to draw up the paperwork. If you find that potential co-signers are hesitant to co-sign, remember that making and missing your payments will affect your cosigners credit as well. Once someone knows that, it may cause them to reconsider.
Look at the safety ratings
While the US federal government has minimum safety ratings that all car manufacturers must adhere to, most manufacturers go above and beyond those minimums. Go on-line and see how the various safety agencies have rated the vehicle you are considering. A secondary area of research involves safety technology. Does your car have technology that will alert you if someone is in your blind spot, or stop your car automatically if you are close to rear-ending the vehcile in front of you? Spend some time looking into this before you settle on the make and model of a car that you’d like to buy.