This is a sponsored post for Cars.com
How do you find that dream car that you will want to drive for many years? You will see that buying a car is one of the first big life purchases, after buying a home. What it takes is a lot of research and planning to achieve all of your car goals.
Listen, when you know the car that you want, you can decide if you want to buy or lease. Sis, this can take some time to make a huge financial decision, but it is so worth it to consider the longevity of your wallet, and the life-time worth of your car.
Assess your needs: As much as you might like to dream about what you want in a car, it’s best to think more about what you need, and how your car can serve you in the future.
How many passengers do you want to carry? What type of driving do you want to do? Do you prefer highway or off-road, surface streets, small neighborhoods? Will you drive in ice or snow?
Do you need all wheel drive? Will you be using a children’s car seat? How much garage or parking space do you need?
Set your budget: Unless you are paying in cash for your car, you’ll need to think about financing your purchase or lease. Decide if you want to lease or buy.
Leasing and buying: Leasing and buying both have positive and negative outcomes. A lease may require a little more money down and offers lower monthly payments but when the lease ends you have no car and will have to go shopping again.
On the other hand, buying a car is more expensive initially and the monthly payments are higher, but when you pay off the loan, you will own the car forever, or for as long as the car remains in good running condition.
Weight the costs of ownership: Some cars may be cheaper to buy, but more expensive to own. Even if two cars are the same price, one might depreciate faster or cost more to insure or maintain.
Before you commit to a car, you should estimate its long-term ownership costs. These include depreciation, insurance, maintenance, and fuel costs.
Set up a test drive: That wonderful occasion when you have finished all of your homework, research, and planning, and you have found that dream car.
You can call or send an email to the dealership’s internet department to schedule a day and time for a test drive. Salespeople are great allies and are very familiar with the car buying process.
Have the car inspected: If you like the car, consider having it inspected by a reliable mechanic before you make the final purchase.
Negotiate and get the paper work done: Make an opening offer that is lower than the maximum price. If you are at a dealership, you’ll sign the contract in the finance and insurance office.
There you will be offered additional items such as warranty, anti-theft devices, pre-paid service plan for fabric protection. You can make a request for an extended warranty during the time of negotiation before signing the final paperwork to close on the car.
Review the dealership’s sales contract very carefully to look over any major details in the contract. In most states, it lists the cost of the vehicle, a documentation fee, and possibly a small charge for a smog certificate, sales tax, and licensing fees. If you are buying from an individual owner, make sure the seller transfers the license and registration straight to you. Once you have done the paperwork, it’s time to celebrate and take a drive to your favorite restaurant! You deserve it!