Is now a good time to buy a car? Looking for a new set of wheels but feeling overwhelmed by all the options? Don't worry, you're not alone! Choosing the right car can sometimes be a tougher decision than choosing a life partner (or so we've heard). But don't fret, we're here to help you find your perfect match.
Whether you're in the market for a reliable family car, a sporty ride, or something in between, we'll guide you through the process and make sure you end up with a car that's as perfect for you as a bottle of wine is for a bad day. Come along for a new ride and let's find the car that will make all your friends say "well, ain't that an upgrade!"
How to Decide if You Need a New Car?
Although purchasing a new car is a thrilling experience, the variety of options can be overwhelming. Will you buy car online? Will you buy used cars?
To begin limiting your options, research automobiles and nearby dealerships. Look at solutions that fit your lifestyle and within your budget. Considering your family's needs and your transportation requirements, choose the size of car you want.
Best time to buy a car in the US is varying, and there is not one, not two, but three key points when considering to buy cheap cars, relatively.
- End of the model year: Typically in September or October, when car dealerships are trying to clear out their inventory to make room for new models.
- End of the calendar year: A great time to buy cheap car because dealerships are often trying to meet sales quotas for the year.
- Holidays: Some car dealerships offer special deals and discounts around holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.
Additionally, it's also good to research on the current market trends, consider USAA car buying service and check online if you are looking for the best deal.
Pick Your Car Size
- If you want to save money, choose a smaller vehicle. Smaller automobiles often cost less than larger ones, with the exception of high-end sports vehicles. Additionally, they use less fuel, which will ultimately cost you less money.
- If you have children, plan to have children soon, or frequently transport friends and family, choose a 4 door vehicle over a compact 2 door vehicle.
- Choose a large vehicle if you frequently travel with 4 or more passengers and require a spacious trunk. If a minivan or SUV has a bench seat in the second row, it can accommodate up to 8 people.
- Consider a full-size, heavy-duty pickup truck if you want to do a lot of towing around or are planning to move considerable cargo.
Decide the Car Budget
- Unless you’re using USAA car buying service with your payment figured out, you have to think about your budget. That over 15% of your monthly income shouldn't be used for car expenses. With this amount, you have room to pay for other monthly costs like rent or a house, food, bills, and car insurance. Determine whether more of your budget can realistically go toward your car by using a method of calculating your usual expenses over the course of a month, including money spent for entertainment and leisure.
- In general, used automobiles are more cost-effective, but to make sure they are in good shape, they must be carefully inspected by a professional. Do an in-depth background check when purchasing a car with a history of multiple owners, as this is typically a poor omen.
- Choose a four-cylinder economy automobile if you frequently drive long distances. Overall fuel efficiency is improved with fewer cylinders. For those who travel a lot of highway miles, diesel vehicles may be a more fuel-efficient choice because diesel is frequently less expensive than gasoline.
Reviewing the Car Itself
If you’re thinking of buy car online, research is on it’s way, but in order to get the salesperson's complete attention and avoid a long wait or crowd, try to visit the dealership in the morning or early in the week.
- Never feel compelled to purchase a car the same day you take it for a test drive.
- Ask the salesperson a lot of questions regarding the vehicle during the test drive.
Having a positive experience with the dealership you choose to buy or lease from is crucial when looking for a car. To examine ratings, statistics, and customer experiences for nearby car dealerships, read online reviews. Choose a reputable dealership with a lengthy history because this indicates good service and happy customers.
- Buy cars online or buy used cars, to have a comprehensive understanding of how automobiles stack up, read evaluations from both purchasers and automotive experts. Reviews written by actual car owners are considered to be the most truthful and open about any potential drawbacks or advantages of a particular model.
Begin with Choosing the Right Car Type for Yourself
Even if you already have a car in mind, you should compare it to others in the same class that are comparable to make sure you haven't missed a better option. You can do this by selecting the same vehicle type, such as an SUV for 2022, and comparing it.
Comparing it to its releases in other years, trim levels, or seeing if there is another brand SUV with specifications that are comparable to those of 2022 but offer better values for your intended use. Once you've decided on a viable candidate, looking up particular details on cost, features, and specifications is simple.
Let’s begin your journey with choosing the right type of car for your personal needs:
Historically, a hatchback was a three- or five-door car with an upward-flipping tailgate. The modern definition of a hatchback would be a five-door automobile with a flip-up hatch at the back that houses the engine and two boxes for passengers or freight. Most customers recommend to buy a Volvo car if you’re looking for the best used cars to buy as hatchbacks.
A sedan is described as a five-door passenger vehicle with a distinct trunk from the passenger section and a body with three boxes: the engine, the passenger space, and the trunk. The definition of a sedan has remained constant over the years. Most customers recommend to buy a Cadillac car if you’re looking for the best used cars to buy as sedans.
The abbreviation "SUV" stands for Sports Utility Vehicle and is used in the auto industry slang. It describes a class of vehicle that has a high center of gravity, frequently four-wheel drive, and rough design. They were targeted at the folks who want to engage in weekend activities like canoeing and mountain riding. Most customers recommend to buy a Dodge car if you’re looking for the best used cars to buy as SUVs.
A coupe is a car with less than 33 cubic feet of interior capacity. Other elements give the car a sportier appearance, such as a body that is built closer to the ground and has smooth lines from the roof to the rear.
The passenger compartment has room for two people to sit comfortably. However, certain models have 2 extra seats that are crammed into the back, depending on the type. Most customers recommend to buy a Mini car if you’re looking for the best used cars to buy as coupes.
A car that is powered by an electric motor is known as an electric vehicle (EV). A purely electric vehicle is one without a gasoline or diesel engine. Power is transmitted from the battery to the electric motor when the accelerator is depressed.
The drive shafts turn the wheels when the motor is powered. When the car brakes, it starts to slow down, and the motor turns into an alternator, producing power. The battery receives this power and uses it again. Most customers recommend to buy a Tesla car if you’re looking for the best used cars to buy as EVs.
The classic definition of a sports car is a compact, two-door car built specifically for performance and skillful handling. But in reality, there are just as many distinct definitions of a "sports car" as there are sports car drivers.
Sports cars come in various body types, including coupe, convertible, hatchback, and sedan. German automakers have made a name for themselves by creating sports versions of their sedans, and in the case of BMW, their grand coupes, and their wagons. Most customers recommend to buy a Chevrolet car if you’re looking for the best used cars to buy as sports cars.
A truck or lorry is a type of automobile made to move objects, carry specific payloads, or carry out other practical tasks. Trucks come in a wide range of sizes, capacities, and configurations, but the vast majority have body-on-frame construction and a cabin that is separate from the vehicle's payload.
Despite the fact that there are small- to medium-sized trucks with gasoline engines in the US, Canada, and Mexico, the bulk of trucks now in service are still powered by diesel engines. Electric trucks' market share is expanding quickly and is anticipated to reach 7% globally by 2027. Most customers recommend to buy a Ford car if you’re looking for the best used cars to buy as trucks.
The body and frame of a crossover are constructed from a single component. It is referred to as unibody construction. Because it is lighter, this design often achieves better fuel efficiency and offers a better riding experience.
SUVs, or Sport-Utility Vehicles, have a body-on-frame construction. That indicates that the body and frame are constructed independently and brought together during production. Most customers recommend to buy a Jeep car if you’re looking for the best used cars to buy as crossovers.
Buy your new convertible worry free if you've been wondering what the distinction between a convertible and a cabriolet is. The word "convert" simply means to change and alludes to the ability to change a vehicle from having a rooftop to one without one. Today, the term "convertible" is more commonly used in the automotive industry. Most customers recommend to buy a Chevrolet car if you’re looking for the best used cars to buy as convertibles.
It’s Difference from Cabriolets
In the 1800s, a horse-drawn carriage with two wheels and a top that could be pulled over the two occupants of the carriage when the weather turned bad was known to as a "cabriolet" in French. Nowadays, the terms cabriolet and convertible can be used interchangeably and have essentially the same meaning.
A vehicle that is constructed on a compact car basis is referred to as a minivan. It is simple to operate, features rear doors that slide or hinge, and is built with a body that is lower to the ground than SUVs or trucks.
The cabin includes three rows of chairs that may accommodate 8 to 9 passengers (including the driver). Additionally, sufficient headroom makes it simpler for people to enter and exit the car. Most customers recommend to buy a Honda car if you’re looking for the best used cars to buy as minivans.
To begin with, a wagon's length is always greater than its height when measured from front to rear. The floor of the car rides substantially nearer the ground. As a result, it has a lower center of gravity, has superior handling, a smoother ride, and a stronger sense of stability than an SUV.
Additionally, unlike hatchbacks, wagons typically have a roofline that extends past their rear doors, and the windows appear to be slightly extended into the trunk or cargo space. Last but not least, wagons have a smaller volume in their trunks but may fit more objects inside without obstructing the driver's rearview. Most customers recommend to buy a Audi car if you’re looking for the best used cars to buy as station wagons.
Do you have a particular car on your mind or in your heart? A lot of shoppers do. But new automobiles are constantly entering dealerships in today's dynamic market, and one of them may be ideal for you. You can explore and contrast comparable cars on websites specifically designed to cars and prices to discover the right one.
How Exactly Should You Buy Your Next Car?
If you have the cash, you can just go get your new wheels. If you’re seeking other ways than showing up to your local car dealership looking like Walter White, there a few other options! It may be necessary to look for the best place to buy used cars, the best time to buy a car, and many more, but let’s figure out the financing first.
Using a Loan
You're off to a good start with an auto loan that has been preapproved. By comparing your interest rate to the dealership's financing, which may actually give the lowest annual percentage rate, you may determine how much you can afford to spend. Search for a loan application on your bank's, credit union's, or other lenders' mobile websites. You should conduct your own research to determine which lender is best for you.
Which Loan Duration is Best for Cars?
The most typical loan durations are for roughly 72 months, so keep that in mind when you arrange your financing. Due to the rising cost of cars, many are choosing lengthier loans with lower monthly payments. A maximum loan period of 60 months is advised by experts. A 20% down payment is ideal, but it's also more than most individuals can afford.
Combining a 10% down payment with gap insurance or new-car replacement coverage is crucial. This enables you to save more cash without running the danger of defaulting on your auto loan.
Using Car Trade In
If you currently have a car and you are thinking of using it to finance your next car purchase, then car trade is another healthy option other than simply selling it. Before visiting the dealership, it's critical to find out the trade-in value of your present vehicle. With this knowledge, you can better gauge the value of the car and use it as a benchmark for any offers you might get. You could be pleasantly pleased to learn how much your car is now.
Check whether you have options like heated seats or a sunroof, which might affect the car's worth, while sitting in your car (or standing, as you want). Regarding your car's state, be truthful. And you’re ready to get your new car using the old one!
Using Car Dealerships
Avoid adding to your own difficulties. Here are some critical points you may avoid when you go to the dealership if you want to get the ideal car for the best deal.
Read the Dealership Store
To pass the time, you can simply hop inside a retailer and leave with a respectable microwave or button-down shirt. However, there is a strong probability that if you stroll into a car dealership without a strategy, you will leave with a hole the size of a crater in your bank account.
Additionally, the consequences of how you spent your Saturday morning could follow you for years. A automobile shouldn't be bought on a whim. Know—don't guess, know—the value of your current vehicle, the selling price of the vehicle you wish to purchase, the amount of a down payment you are able to make, and the amount of money you can devote to a monthly car payment. If you are prepared, you will be well ahead of most car buyers.
Don’t Buy a Car Out of Pity
A dealership typically works hard to move the cars it has on hand. And the customer's best interests aren't always served by it. If the salesperson is knowledgeable about the stock, he or she might be attempting to pair you with something that might be sold right away.
The dealership will try to fit you into a vehicle it is trying to move, even if it is not what is best for you, if you are not clear and firm about what you want. Refuse to be persuaded to buy an automobile.
Time Your Credit Check for New Car
The dealer will eventually need to perform a credit check to determine your credit score to buy a car if you plan to finance your new automobile with a loan. Don't agree to this until you are well on your way to closing a transaction. A complete credit check, commonly referred to as a "hard draw," can harm your credit score.
If you are a long way from purchasing, there is no purpose in approving a credit score to buy a car and running the danger of damaging your credit. Also, don’t forget the first time car buyer program, a program to assist those who purchase vehicles without a credit history.
Buying Used Cars
It's harder to shop for and find the ideal used car than it is to locate and purchase a new one. You only need to go to the showroom and purchase a new car once you've found one that satisfies your requirements and price range.
Doesn’t matter if you’re buying a used car in Colorado or California, you must select not only the perfect model but also one that is available, has a low enough mileage to be appealing, is in good condition, wasn't in an accident, and has been well maintained. Additionally, it must be nearby for your own good. The next step is to assess the seller to make sure they won't take advantage of you.
In summary, analyzing a pre-owned vehicle that is three years old and has 36,000 miles on it requires much more study than evaluating a brand-new vehicle that is sitting on a dealer's lot. When you purchase a used automobile, you can receive choices and amenities for a lot less money than you would pay for them when purchasing a new vehicle. Higher trim levels and option packages don't fetch nearly the same premiums on used automobiles as they do on new ones.
Used CPO Vehicles
There is a used vehicle option with factory warranty protection. Manufacturer-certified pre-owned vehicles (CPO vehicles) combine the affordability of a used vehicle with manufacturer-backed warranty protection. They often have few miles, are only a few years old, have service records, and have never been in an accident. They frequently consist of lease return vehicles, dealership service loaners, or cars operated by dealership or OEM personnel.
They differ from non-certified pre-owned vehicles in a number of ways. They go through a thorough inspection and refurbishment procedure at the dealership that adheres to the exact specifications set out by the original manufacturer.
Most used cars come with no warranty and are offered "as is." Contrarily, CPO vehicles include manufacturer's warranties that typically go beyond the period of the vehicle's original coverage. Additionally, several CPO programs give customers extras like trip interruption insurance and roadside assistance.
Only the brand's franchised dealerships carry certified pre-owned vehicles. You can tell a Lexus isn't actually a part of Lexus' L/Certified CPO program if you find one marked as a certified used car on a Dodge dealer's lot. A vehicle is not manufacturer certified until it has been inspected and restored to the original manufacturer's standards by one of the manufacturer's own dealers, despite the fact that some dealers will label their vehicles as "certified."
Only pre-owned cars that have been certified by the manufacturer will have a warranty that permits repairs to be made at any of their dealerships. Any used car can be covered by a warranty from the dealership, but it will likely be considerably more constrained than a CPO guarantee from the manufacturer.
Using Car Lease
A common kind of auto finance called a car lease enables you to "rent" a car from a dealership for a set period of time and number of kilometers. A car is normally leased from a dealer, who gives you access to the vehicle in return for regular lease payments. If there is a buyout provision for lease, you can keep the automobile rather than return it to the dealer at the end of the term.
To lease a new car, you'll normally need acceptable credit. According to Experian data, people who leased a new car in the third quarter of 2020 had an average credit score of 733. Scores of 670 and higher are deemed "excellent" by FICO. Remember that even if you are leasing an automobile, your history of lease payments will appear on credit reports.
Difference of Car Lease from Car Loan
A car lease and an auto loan are comparable in many ways. For instance, you might have to put money down when you lease a car as the lessee, and you'll make monthly payments just like you would with a regular auto loan.
Monthly payments for leases are frequently lower than those for auto loans, but there is a drawback to these reduced payments. You're simply paying for the right to drive the car for a predetermined number of hours and miles, not for the opportunity to accumulate equity in it.
In addition to a car dealership, you can frequently apply for auto loans through banks or other third-party lenders. However, it's unusual to arrange a car lease through a bank. Instead, you'll probably deal directly with a dealership or a niche auto loan firm.
If there is a chance for you to purchase the vehicle, you may just do it, but if not, you must return the vehicle to the dealership at the conclusion of the lease term, which is normally two to four years, and walk away from the vehicle and monthly payments forever.
Got a New Ride? Here’s How to Make the Best of It!
Decided to get new wheels? There is a way to make it waaay better with a tiny performance boxy, called Pedal Commander! Yup, this little device is out to get your accelerator pedal to perform better. Faster or slower, optimize your new throttle pedal’s responsivity however it suits you.
You can set it to perform as your old vehicle, as an off-road vehicle to prevent tire slippages, or perform like a race car to turn into a speed beast. Doesn’t matter if you’re on lease, under warranty, or overall worried about your car’s safety. Pedal Commander is an FCC, CARB and TÜV certified, multiple SEMA Award winner performance part. Can be plugged in and out under 15 minutes, and is absolutely safe to use!
A brief video of what Pedal Commander turns any car into: