5 Important Things to Consider When Buying a Car

5 Important Things to Consider When Buying a Car

Buying a car is a major life decision that merits thorough planning and consideration. Just as you don't want to rush into buying a house, you wouldn't want to buy a car on impulse. There are dozens of important things to consider before you walk into that dealership and shell out thousands of dollars. To help you make the right consumer decision, here are five things that you should think about before you shop for a new vehicle.

Important things to consider before buying a car

Type of Vehicle

First things first, determine what your transportation needs and wants are. The type of car you buy should match your lifestyle. For instance, if you are an avid hiker or off-road adventurer, an all-wheel drive is a sensible investment to traverse icy or rocky terrains. For a growing family, a hatchback, like a Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport or a Peugeot 508, is a good vehicle choice to get more storage and cargo space. It's important to understand that not all cars are built and designed the same. Different types of cars have different body styles, safety features, engine and motor specifications, and interior amenities, all of which can affect the overall driving experience.


The costs of a car can go well beyond the advertised price tag. It can bloat up quickly with the addition of taxes, accessories, warranty extensions, and of course ownership costs, which include regular maintenance work. Fortunately, there is a myriad of options that can help lower the cost of a car. For instance, consider shopping for used cars in Spearfish, South Dakota, which provides you with a complimentary top-dollar appraisal on vehicle trades and financing options for consumers with bad or no credit score.

Credit Score

Most consumers who buy a car choose to finance instead of paying cash. The dealership you visit will often have a bank or two that they work with to help with auto financing for the dealership's clients. They call the bank on the spot and walk you through the verification and application process. One of the key pieces of information that will be brought up is your credit score. If you have a low or no credit score, expect a higher interest rate on your auto loan. That said, be sure you know what your credit profile is even before you visit a dealership. It'll help you understand what interest rates are ideal based on your credit profile.

Test Drive

Even if you are fond of a particular make and model, experts recommend test driving a vehicle anyway. Online research gives you an idea of what a vehicle is capable of, but actually driving it and feeling how it performs can give you a more comprehensive picture of the vehicle's capabilities. This is especially useful when you are buying a secondhand vehicle. Observe any noticeable squeaks or rattles that might signal an impending mechanical issue. To make sure you get a chance to test drive a vehicle before purchasing it, schedule an appointment with the dealership over the phone or through their website.


Car insurance is another burden that comes with car ownership. Similar to financing, a dealership can help connect you with an insurance company. They may contact an insurer to request a quote for you based on relevant personal information, particularly your driving history. Once you get a quote, you have the option to either accept or continue shopping for another insurance policy. It's completely legal to buy a vehicle without car insurance, but you will need to have insurance to legally drive it home. Furthermore, you'll need to meet the minimum insurance coverage requirements set by your state.

When buying a car, negotiation skills also come into play. A well-known trick by dealerships is to start with an extremely high offer so they have a lot of legroom to negotiate the price down. Use your research to find a fair price point for a particular car make and model and then try to get an offer below that price.

About the Author

Sierra Powell graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a major in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing. When she's not writing, she loves to cook, sew, and go hiking with her dogs.

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