10 Things To Look For When Buying A Car


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Buying a car is one purchase in life that many of us make and we can all tend to see this differently when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. Whether you want a specific car for vanity or whether you’re just looking for a cheap run around, there’s definitely a checklist of wants and needs that you should have when it comes to buying a car.

With that being said, here are ten things to look for when buying a car.

Is It Within Your Budget?

Firstly, the million-dollar question is whether it’s within your budget or not.

No matter what type of make or model car you’d aspire to have, not every option is within financial reach. It’s important not to overstretch yourself when it comes to money because you don’t really know what can happen in life that might compromise your financial income.

That’s why it’s important to focus your efforts on how much you have to spend on a car first before you go car shopping. 

What do you think you could afford currently? It’s important to think about your expenditures on the car itself and how much you could take out of your monthly income to help with that. It’s also important to figure out a deposit and then what type of cars are going to be in your price range.

This is useful for when you do start car shopping in order to know what exactly you can afford and what you can’t.

Type Of Gearbox

The type of gearbox choices is automatic and manual.

For most people, automatic tends to be the preferred choice because it’s easier to control when it comes to choosing between the two. However, it’s always best that you learn how to use a manual when you do your driving lessons because that way, you’re not limiting your options should you need to.

It’s worth considering what you find more comfortable to drive with, and that will tend to differ from person to person. Look at what you’re driving now or if it’s your first car, make sure you are test driving both automatic and manuals a few times before making your decision.

It might be that you find a driving instructor that offers lessons in automatic or vice versa so that you have experience of using both.

When it comes to the gearbox, it certainly matters which one you end up choosing, so make sure to figure this out. This is especially important if the car is being shared.

Does It Suit It’s Intended Use?

When you buy a car, it’s important to think about what it is you are intending to use it for. Is it going to be something you use for leisure, or are you planning to use it to drive to work and back?

It’s essential that you’re buying a car that suits your lifestyle and needs before suiting your wants. You could pick a car that in theory, looks to be the one you want, but then it might not be functional for your family household. 

Think about what it is you are going to need the car for and then shop accordingly to that. It’s not to say that you don’t want to think about an additional car as that might be something you want to get at some point down the line.

However, for your next car, you do want to factor in whether the car is going to provide you with everything you need for right now.

Amount Of Boot Space

The amount of boot space is worth considering, especially if you have a family.

This can be important to do when you have children and therefore need some more space in the boot to work with when it comes to suitcases and shopping, etc. There are lots of cars out there that can offer great boot space, regardless of whether they’re a type of SUV or something smaller.

If you’re aiming to have a lot of boot space, then you need to ensure you’ve thought about the amount you need and this can make searching for a car a lot easier when you have the specifications down to the very last detail.

Having this knowledge ahead of time is going to ensure you are buying the right car and not something that’s not going to fulfill your wants and needs.

Technology Features

Technology is a driving force behind a lot of the things we buy nowadays.

We rely on technology as a human race, and it’s certainly something that is only becoming more apparent as the years go by.

Car manufacturers are therefore creating more innovative features in their cars which are going to be highly influential to your driving experience. You might want the option of having screens in the back for your children’s entertainment or maybe Bluetooth connectivity is essential for the technological-savvy individuals who need it for driving and elevating their driving experience.

Consider what’s out there and what is possible within your budget. It’s another must-have feature for most drivers nowadays to at least have a stereo system in place.

Interior Style

Your interior style can be something that’s very different from another driver, and it’s all down to personal taste.

You may love a standard monochrome interior whereas someone else may love something a little more bold and daring. Think about the style as one of the needs further down your list when it comes to functionality and specifications.

However, it’s still something that should sway your opinion on what you’re looking for in a car.

After all, you want to be seen driving in something that at least looks nice enough, rather than something that looks like it could break down at any moment. Appearance is certainly key in some respects, so have a think about what you need.

Type Of Car

When picking a type of car, you want to consider all the options out there.

That also includes the brands of cars and the models they have available under each type of car they sell. It can be confusing for those who’ve never bought a car before or don’t really have much intel on car manufacturers and what specifications are essential for them.

Do your research and pick out a few choices so that you have some options to pick from whether that’s an SUV or a Hatchback.

The Age Of It

The age of the car is certainly important because it will determine just how well it drives and how many years left it might have.

All cars are capable of breaking down, but with the older ones, you’re likely going to be paying out more the older they get.

Any that have been made in the past five to ten years are probably the best ones to go for when it comes to risk. Anything over ten years and unless it’s really been looked after by previous owners, it might be on its last legs.

This is all-important when it comes to safety and ensuring you don’t have to deal with a car accident liability

Be Sure To Do A Test Drive

Never buy a car simply by taking visual checks.

It’s essential that you take your car for a spin firstly to see if it lives up to expectations but also to ensure it’s the right car for you. Just because it looks good on paper, you could drive it and it not feel right to you as a driver.

It’s good to test the car a couple of times on different days if possible to get a proper feel for the car and to ensure it’s the one for you. If some used car sellers aren’t offering a test drive, that should certainly be a warning sign that something is not quite right.

They might not want to offer a test drive because they know something is wrong with the car or that they’ve not been truly honest about its specifications.

Request Any Relevant Records For Private Sellers

And finally, when you’re buying a car, it’s important to get all the relevant records and details from the person or company selling the car.

For private sellers, this is essential because you don’t want to be left with any skeletons that might be in the closet when it comes down to previous MOT checks, etc.

Make sure you’ve asked for all the relevant documents needed, and if you’re not sure what these are, it might be worth doing your research to ensure you are asking for everything when the time comes.

Those who won’t give the relevant records you ask should certainly be reconsidered when parting ways with your money.

When buying a car, it’s certainly worth looking into what’s available for your needs and wants. Be sure to do test drives, know your car types, and ask the right questions. A car can provide a lot of ease and freedom for you and your household, so be sure to find the right one.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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