Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Drive Out Your Confusion Over Buying A Car

Recently, I met this guy who has been unnecessarily worked up about buying a car. While talking to him in this regard, I realised that he is just one of many others who is feeling confused or anxious about buying a car. Guys, feelings such as these are a normal part of the car buying process. Take a deep breath and relax, here are some things that may help you make your choice easier.
1. Do you really need a car?
The first question you should ask yourself is why do you need a car right now. Isn't it absurd to drive to work when almost every office provides employees with transportation facilities? (The trend now is cycling to work).  Do you need a car for your regular shopping trip to a supermarket that is just two minutes away from home? When we travel long distances we mainly use buses or trains. Occasionally you can even hire a car. So why do you need a car? I'm not discouraging you, but think twice and convince yourself about the necessity for a car.
2. Should you buy a new or used car?
Now that you decided to go ahead with your plans to buy a car, another question arises: Used or a brand new car? Buying a used car is not better than nor is it worse than going for a brand new car. It's just a choice of preference. For some a car is a status symbol, while for others it is simply a means of moving around. The former would choose brand new cars whereas the latter might prefer used ones. However, the challenge of buying a used car is evaluating the condition of the car and determining whether you are getting a fair deal or overpaying. You could make use of Auto Calculators that could help you decide which is right for you.
3. The perfect car does not exist
No matter how much you research, discuss or test-drive, trust me, you are not going to find the perfect car. And that is not your goal, too. All you are trying to do is find the best vehicle for your needs, budget and happiness. And that's it. So keep it simple.
4. Re-examine your budget
Understanding your finances and getting a good price from the dealer is critical if you don't want the car buying experience to leave a bitter taste in your mouth. If you are going to pay for the car in one lump sum, there's not much to be anxious about. But most car buyers finance their purchase and make monthly installments and then the amount you spend on the car has a huge impact on your overall budget. Work out how much cash you practically have to spend after rent, bills, entertainment and other expenditure have been considered. There was a time when the average car loan was up to three years. Now five years is the standard and banks are even offering six years or more. This allows you to buy more expensive cars than you can really afford, by stretching the payments out until the car is almost fully depreciated. It's always better to buy a car that you can afford to pay off in 48 months, or even better, 36 months.
5. This is not a do-or-die situation
It's quite natural to feel restless about making a mistake, of buying the wrong car or spending too much money. However it may be that your anxiety is befogging your thinking. Remember, this is not a do-or-die situation. Nor is it a test — you are not being rated or ranked here. So I'm telling you again, relax!

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