(The Right Car for you)
Greetings from the Hemet Car Guy,
Have you ever thought you purchased the wrong car or just had buyer’s remorse?
You can buy a 2-day recession that cost $250 and then pay the $500 restocking fee or make sure you are purchasing the right car.
People come to me every day asking for vehicle suggestions, but too often their requests have a very narrow focus – “I need a car with good gas mileage…I want something fast…I need four-wheel-drive.” These may be very legitimate, but it is important for car buyers to take a broader look at their vehicle needs.
For example, a client was quite clear in the beginning that he wanted a convertible they thought for sure he was going to pick the Mustang GT drop-top, but he didn’t. He went with the Challenger, which is coupe only. The reason he went with the Dodge is because of how the car sounded and felt tough.
This scenario is similar to many others that I have encountered when someone says they really want one thing, when in fact, there are other factors they may not have considered. More often than not, when buyers have a specific request, there is a bigger picture that should be addressed. If this larger issue is not taken into consideration, someone could end up with a vehicle they aren’t really happy with.
The first thing is, you must determine how much car you can afford. You don’t want to get in over their head and risk having to roll negative equity into your next loan.
Once that budget is established, here are a few questions that can help you avoid buyer’s remorse.
How much do you drive?
Even with fuel prices at reasonable levels, most buyers are concerned with their gas mileage. However, far too often, they get hung up on the difference of a few MPG and in their quest for maximum efficiency end up making unnecessary sacrifices. This is why it is important to examine how much you drive and do the math.
You are probably going to be happier with a car that gets only 30 MPG but has a few more features than the smaller, more basic vehicle that gets 35MPG.
What do you need your car to do?
If you are transporting several people around regularly, figure out which vehicle will serve this purpose best while balancing out the other factors. Others have argued that minivans are probably the best choice for a people mover, but you may have other requirements as well. For example, if you have to tow something or move a lot of gear, a truck or SUV may work better. On the flip side, if you pretty much drive solo with passengers occasionally, you can save money by getting a smaller vehicle.
Do you find yourself often driving to the river off-road? If so, and AWD/4WD vehicle may be necessary. If most of your driving is on paved roads, then a two-wheel-drive vehicle is probably fine.
Knowing how this vehicle needs to function in your environment with your practical considerations is crucial. Do not sacrifice function for features or fuel economy.
(Hemet Car Guy)
What are your must-have features?
The number of gadgets and gizmos available on modern cars is amazing but can also be overwhelming. You can get telematics systems that read your email to you and even give you traffic and weather alerts. Every ad touts the latest technology as “must-have.” This is especially true when it comes to some advanced safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and collision avoidance systems. While all these features are great, what do you really need?
Again this comes back to how much and how far you drive. If the majority of your commute is from home to work and around town, chances are you don’t need an expensive navigation unit. If you consider yourself a vigilant driver, you can probably save money and pass on those expensive electronics that pay attention to you.
What you should do is make a list of things you absolutely must-have. Personally, I could care less about heated seats, but a sunroof would be nice to have. Think about your day to day drive and what features would make that travel better.
What kind of driving/ownership experience do you want?
This one is tricky because it is incredibly personal. But it is important that you be really honest with yourself. Do you really want a street-legal go-kart on your 50-mile commute or would do you really need something that is relatively comfortable yet can still devour and exit ramp? Are you prepared for the inevitable maintenance costs of that bargain luxury car you got for the price of a Corolla or are you the type that really can’t be bothered with issues beyond basic maintenance? Are you concerned about your status and/or the assumptions that others may or may not have of you based on what you drive? Does the vehicle match with your personality?
Remember, purchasing a car is not a logical process. We would like to think we bought something based on safety ratings, fuel economy, and practicality. But we want something that looks nice, something that makes us feel good when we drive it, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Test drive the car!!!
I hear people say, “I don’t need to test drive it.”
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t buy shoes without trying them on first
A great car on paper still can be the wrong car. A good test drive will allow you to nit-pick and find the little things that may hamper your enjoyment.
If you want to avoid buying the wrong car, you have to be honest about your practical needs, your usage, the psychological baggage you impose on your vehicle, and above all your budget.
Hope this helps
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