There are several car advertisements out there that claim to give you the “best deal” on a new vehicle. So, it’s easy to get confused or to gravitate toward several advertisements that feature appealing information. However, it’s best to keep this rule in mind when searching for a car that fits within your budget: you’re the only person who should select your next vehicle. A car dealer shouldn’t make the choice for you. You shouldn’t leave the decision up to a salesman or car company. Your friends, colleagues and family members can provide their input to help you make the best choice, but ultimately, the decision is up to you. After all, you’re the one who has the drive the car every day, and of course, pay for the vehicle.
Here are some helpful tips for finding the best car for your budget to ensure you’ll be satisfied with your purchase.
Using Comparison Websites
Before you get your heart set on purchasing a particular car, start your search by looking at a few vehicle purchase comparison websites. Consumer Reports, Edmunds, and Kelley Blue Book are ideal sites for giving you a summary of available cars, as well as the pros and cons of purchasing these vehicles. You’ll need a paid membership to get detailed information from Consumer Reports; however, Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds are free resources. It’s also a good idea to check car enthusiast websites like Automobile and Car and Driver to get details about vehicle performance, style and functionality.
Whether you’re in the market for a new car or you’re looking to purchase a used vehicle, write our a list of the best cars that meet your needs and have features you want. Create a list of prices that are within your budget as well. You can also use Edmunds and Kelley to price cars in your region, so you’ll know what local buyers are paying for the cars that interest you.
Think Safety First
While you may want a luxury car or are considering buying a vehicle just for its looks, think again. Safety and reliability should be your first priority. You’ll likely be driving the car daily, so it’s best to make sure you’re purchasing a vehicle that will keep you safe while you’re on the road. Take a look at the reports from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to see crash test results. The organization tests vehicles to determine how the cars’ safety features work in various types of automobile accidents. You can also look at Consumer Reports to get test results of new vehicle, or archived results if you’re purchasing a used car. Consumer Reports keeps a record of vehicle issues and reports them annually while giving cars a reliability score to make your selection process easier. You can also do a Google search for “problems with” the vehicle(s) you’re considering to find articles, forums and reviews describing which cars are the safest.
Ownership Can Be Costly
Keep in mind that owning the vehicle isn’t the same as paying the purchase price for the car. The car you want could be priced lower than similar models. However, it may cost you more to own the car in the future because of insurance costs and fuel economy. Of course, maintenance and repairs can increase the overall cost of ownership as well. You can visit your insurance company’s website and request a quote for the car(s) you’re thinking about purchasing, (for instance, type in Honda CRV 2019), to get a realistic idea of your monthly insurance payment. Refer to Edmunds and Consumer Reports for the multi-year cost of several vehicle models.
Even if the vehicle you want costs more than you’ve budgeted for, you can choose to pay the premium if there are features in the car that you feel are worth the price. However, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into before officially purchasing your car.