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Car Shopping Essentials: What To Look For

The car market has diversified hugely, and there are now more than 400 makes and models available. If you’re car shopping, it’s great to have a choice, but how do you go about finding the right vehicle? If your lease contract is due for renewal, or you’re looking to buy, here are some essential factors to consider. 

Car Shopping

Your requirements

The most important element to consider when car shopping for a new or used vehicle is your requirements. There is a huge range of vehicles available today, but not all of them are suited to every driver. Think about how you plan to use the vehicle, how much space you need and whether you’re buying or leasing for personal or business use. If you run a company, and you’re expanding your company car selection, for example, your requirements may be very different from a buyer that needs a compact car for city driving or a parent looking for a family car. Look online for advice and articles and guides with titles like Commercial Fleet 101: What Business Owners Need To Know. Compare quotes and figure out options that cater to your needs in terms of mileage, size and fuel efficiency. If you’re searching for a car for personal use, consider how far you drive, the types of journeys you make and how much space you need. 

Your budget

The cost of buying a car can range from hundreds to thousands of pounds. Most buyers don’t have a bottomless car fund to raid. Before you start your search, work out a budget. You can either buy a vehicle up-front, take out a car loan or spread the cost of a new car via a finance agreement. If you choose to buy, set a maximum budget for the total cost of the vehicle and remember to factor in monthly expenses, such as fuel and insurance. If you want to lease a car or buy on finance, figure out how much you can afford to spend per month. If you can put a deposit down, this will reduce your monthly payments. You can also lower the cost of leasing by decreasing your mileage or taking out a longer-term agreement. Once you have a budget, you can visit dealerships and browse online listings and websites to find vehicles within your price range. It is always worth shopping around, negotiating and comparing prices to get the best deal. 

Features and extras

Modern-day cars are feats of engineering. Standard models are impressive, but some cars come with a dazzling array of extras and add-ons. Think about the features that matter most to you and consider whether it’s worth paying more for extras. If you have a family, for example, safety and comfort may be your priorities. Look for cars that have robust safety features and extras that enhance the travelling experience for adults and children. If you take great pride in your car, and you’re passionate about driving, you may want to opt for a sporty trim or pay more for features that improve performance. Tailor your search to suit your driving style and needs. In many cases, you can customise extras to create the perfect vehicle. 

Car Shopping

Reviews and reputation

Buying a car is a significant investment. If you’re spending money on a new car, or you’re signing an agreement, which is going to cost hundreds of pounds every month, it’s natural to want to make the right decision. You want to find a vehicle that performs well and ensure that you can rely on your car to get you from A to B. It’s helpful to read reviews in auto magazines and blogs and ask people you know and trust for recommendations when car shopping. It’s also a good idea to read reviews and testimonials from other drivers online. Look for information, such as safety records and test results, which verify manufacturer claims. 

Test drives

Test drives are hugely beneficial because they give you an insight into the driving experience. You can’t get a feel for a car from looking through the pages of a glossy brochure or staring at a shiny new model in a showroom window. Use test drives to see how comfortable you feel in the vehicle and how it drives. It’s particularly important to test cars if you drive long distances, you spend a lot of time in your car, or you’re prone to aches and pains. If you have a few contenders in mind, organizing a test drive can help you to decide which vehicle is best for you. Even if you think there is a clear favorite, you may change your mind once you’ve sat in the car and taken it for a spin. 

Your preferences

Many of us need a car to get around, but it’s wise to think about your preferences as well as your requirements when car shopping. This covers everything from fuel type and shape to colour. Whether you’re shopping for cars for your business, or you’re looking for a new car for personal use, draw up a wish list and identify priorities. Are you keen to go green and try an electric vehicle? Do you only want a black car? Would you prefer a sporty model or an SUV to an estate or a saloon? You can filter results and narrow down your options once you know what you want and what you’re willing to forgo if the perfect vehicle isn’t available. 

Car Shopping

There are hundreds of different makes and models of cars available now. Consumers have never had a more diverse range of vehicles to choose from when car shopping. If you are looking for a new or used car or a vehicle for business purposes, it’s important to consider essential factors to rule makes and models out and find a vehicle that ticks all or most of the boxes. Set a budget, consider your requirements, explore different features, extras and customization options, read reviews and identify priorities. Once you have a shortlist, organize test drives, compare prices and be prepared to negotiate to get the best offer.