So you’re in the market for a new car and are wondering what to buy. That’s hardly surprising because there are so many to choose from.
To help you out, USTrans has written this guide. The right car for you is very much going to depend on your price range, requirements, and lifestyle.
Let’s start with some questions you need to ask yourself.
Wondering What Car You Should Buy? Ask Yourself These Questions
Spend time searching for a car online and your head will be spinning. Ask yourself the following questions and it should narrow down your options.
What Car is Best for My Needs?
There are lots of ways your thoughts could be directed to a car that’s really not suitable. Flashy car commercials or 0% promotions can be very appealing, but take some time and home in on your unique priorities.
Think about what you want, what your passengers require, and how you can find the perfect features to match your budget.
Young professionals who have a long commute every day might put fuel efficiency at the top of their priorities. A large family, on the other hand, might look for a roomy interior which plenty of seating and top-of-the-line safety features.
What is My Budget?
A good first step is to decide on your budget. What you can afford is going to determine the vehicles you’re looking at. Start your shopping without checking your budget first and you could end up with a vehicle you really can’t afford. You’ll be putting your finances under pressure and could miss payments or run the risk of repossession.
Rather than overspending, do some of the math and see what vehicle expenses you can cover. You’ll likely need to save a down payment. In addition, there are the following recurring expenses to take on:
- Monthly car payment
- Parking and tolls
If you can, save a few months of full monthly expenses before you buy your car.
Once you’ve worked out your budget, you can shop around for the best auto loan. Many dealerships offer to finance, but you’ll get a much better rate and terms from other types of lenders.
What Size Car Would Be Better?
If you buy a car that’s too cramped or too big, it won’t be long before you regret your decision.
Before you buy, work out what size and how much space is going to suit your everyday needs. Is your family growing? Do you need to transport equipment? Is there limited parking space?
Other considerations to keep in mind when comparing vehicles include:
- Overall dimensions: This means the length, width, and height of the vehicle. It’s also important that any potential vehicle fits your parking space or garage.
- Interior measurements: Compare legroom and headroom. If you’re going to be driving passengers and cargo, check the space behind each row and in the cargo area or trunk.
- Second and third-row seating: You want your passengers to have sufficient seating space. They should also be able to get in and out of the vehicle easily.
If you’re buying a car for the family, rope them into your search and take them along when you take it for a test drive. When you’re inspecting a potential car, spend time playing with the seating configurations and making sure there’s space for items you regularly transport.
What Type of Car Would Suit Me Best?
Another consideration to factor into your decision is what body type will best suit your needs. You’ve certainly got a lot to choose from.
- Sedan: For drivers who want lots of cabin room and a separate trunk
- Coupe: For drivers looking for a sporty ride with more space inside the car than a traditional sports car
- Hatchback: For drivers who want space inside the car but with a larger cargo area than a sedan
- Crossover: Provides the cargo space of an SUV but handles like a car
- Convertible: For drivers who want to feel the wind through their hair and enjoy driving with the top down
- Sports car: For drivers who want a thrilling drive, top speeds, and superior handling
- SUV: This is the car for you if you need more cabin space and utility than a traditional sedan
- Minivan: For families looking for safety, plenty of cargo and interior room, and comfort
- Van: A van offers functionality and extra space
- Truck: The best in terms of cargo space and towing and hauling capacity
- Diesel: Will deliver better gas mileage and efficiency, along with lower repair bills
- Hybrid/electric: This type of car is for those who want better fuel efficiency and a smaller carbon footprint
- Luxury: For drivers who want comfort, plenty of space, technological features, and dynamic performance
There are three things to consider when looking at the different styles:
- Functionality: Size, comfort, resale value, maintenance, fuel economy
- Performance: Speed, hauling capability, handling, technology
- Styling/aesthetics: Body detail, design, top-of-the-line features, infotainment systems
Should I Buy a New or Used Car?
Whether you’re asking yourself the question “What used car should I buy?” or “What new car should I buy?” you have to look at the pros and cons of each one.
The perks that come with buying a new car include the peace of mind that comes with driving a car with no prior history. You’re also likely to get more coverage under a new manufacturer’s warranty.
On the flip side, buying a used car doesn’t mean you’re settling for second best. It is possible to get a previously-owned car that’s been certified, has vehicle history reports, and mechanic’s inspections. When you buy a used car, you’re also avoiding the significant loss of value you get with a new car as soon as you drive it off the lot.
Pros of buying a new car
- Technology is newer
- Manufacturer’s warranty
- More financing options
Cons of buying a new car
- Higher cost
- Instant depreciation
- Higher insurance premiums and sales tax
Pros of buying a used car
- Typically lower cost
- Reduced depreciation
- More car for your buck
Cons of buying a used car
- Unknown history
- More maintenance
- More wear and tear
What Car Brand Should I Buy?
Individual brands tend to have features that make them stand out. Depending on your preferences, you might choose to omit or prioritize certain brands.
For example, BMW is a well-respected manufacturer of luxury sports cars, sedans, and SUVs. Chevrolet is an American manufacturer that has made 2 dependable cars that have been featured by JD Power. They are the Camaro and the Silverado 2500 HD.
Other manufacturers include:
- Ford: Known for making quintessential American vehicles such as the F-150 and the Mustang.
- Honda: Known for making popular, reliable cars that have excellent resale value.
- Hyundai: This manufacturer makes affordable cars that are high-quality and come with exceptionally long warranties.
- Kia: This brand is operated by Hyundai and is a top-ranking manufacturer according to JD Power.
- Lexus: This manufacturer has a reputation for making dependable, quality, luxury vehicles.
- Mazda: This is considered almost a luxury car brand because of the interiors that are outfitted with luxurious materials.
- Merceded-Benz: This is the world’s oldest car brand and it makes SUVs, sports cars, and sedans.
- Subaru: This is a rugged and reliable car brand and its vehicles maintain a good resale value.
- Tesla: This is a relatively new car manufacturer that specializes in electric power and technology.
- Toyota: Toyota is a brand with the fewest reported problems after three years of ownership.
What Features Do I Need in a Car?
Something else to consider before you make your purchase is the features that may be essential. Any or all of the following might be necessary, depending on your needs.
- Good gas mileage: If a car is fuel efficient you’ll save money and cut down on the number of trips you make to the gas station.
- Robust engine: A reliable engine requires less maintenance and helps ensure longevity.
- Drivetrain: An efficient drivetrain means your vehicle will run smoothly and will reduce fuel consumption.
- Comfort features: Features like heated seats, climate control, and spacious seating will make frequent road trips or long commutes more comfortable.
- Driver assistance technologies: Safety features notify drivers of impending dangers and include alerts for certain dangers on the road and automated responses that prevent crashes and save lives.
- Towing capability: If you exceed your car’s towing capability it can seriously damage your engine, tires, and more.
What Features Do I Want in My Car?
The previous list includes essential features. There are also fun add-ons and upgrades you might want to consider. However, before you decide on the features you want in your car, bear in mind that special features can quickly increase your bill.
Here are some features you might want to consider:
- Safety upgrades
- Infotainment systems
- Car camera systems
- Sun or moonroof
- On–board wi-fi
- Heated seats and steering wheel
- Zoned climate control systems
Can a What Car Should I Buy Quiz Help Me?
If you want to save some time, a what car should I buy quiz might be helpful in condensing your options.
There are plenty of them to turn to if you want some help in your search for the perfect car.
Here are a few you might want to try. We’d be interested to learn whether any of them correctly predicted your choice of car.
Where to Look for Your Car
If you’ve managed to answer all the questions above, you’re in a good position and have narrowed down your search. But where do you go to buy your car?
Here are your options.
You tend to find that the selection at a dealer’s lot will be somewhat limited. However, on a positive note, some dealerships offer manufacturer incentives or rebates when you visit the lot.
Online Car Dealers
The choice is unlimited, or almost, and you should be able to find a great deal whatever make and model car you’re looking for.
Find a whole host of private sellers by visiting websites such as eBay or Craigslist. Prices tend to be some of the lowest. You may have to pay fees, depending on the platform you use. It’s a more hands-on approach and you’re buying from an unknown seller.
Industry guides such as Edmunds, NADAguides, and Kelley Blue Book can provide plenty of research and reviews. In addition, they can also help when you’re searching for a new car.
If you’re in the market for a new car, don’t worry about how far away it is. USTrans.com is a car shipping company that can quickly and easily have your new car delivered to your front door.
What Luxury Car Should I Buy?
Luxury brands to choose from include Bentley, Jaguar, Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes Benz. These luxury brands are built using high-quality materials and have features that aren’t typically available in mainstream vehicles.
What Electric Car Should I Buy?
According to Auto Express, the best electric cars to buy this year include:
Renault Megan E-Tech
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Kia Niro EV
What Sports Car Should I Buy?
The top 10 best sports cars to buy this year include:
Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman
Toyota GR Supra
What Car Should I Buy for Under 20k?
According to the Kelley Blue Book, the best cars to buy under 20k include the following:
2022 Hyundai Accent
2021 Hyundai Venue
2023 Subaru Forester
2022 Kia Rio
2022 Nissan Versa
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer