CAR BUYER'S SCHOOL
CAR BUYER'S FAQ
How To Choose The Car That's Right For You
By Michael Royce
After going from dealership to dealership and seeing new car after new car, you probably can't help but wonder what really is the difference between a Honda and a Toyota and a Ford and a Chevy. After awhile they all start to look so darn alike. So how do you know which new car is really the right one for you? Making the big decision can certainly drive you crazy. Well, have no fear. Here are some practical tips for easing your car-buying anxiety, narrowing down your choices and choosing the car that's right for you:
1. Examine your budget.
2. Examine your needs.
In answering these questions, don't be concerned with what other people (your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors) might think. Answer with what's right for you.
3. Do some research.
Excellent sources of information are the manufacturer's brochures available at most dealerships. Read them carefully. Compare the features and specifications offered as well as the various equipment levels (such as DX, LX, SE) to see which one is most appropriate for you.
For more product information, contact the automobile manufacturers directly. By visiting their websites or calling them, you can learn a lot about the new models and you can get valuable information regarding rebates and other incentives. You can also request free brochures. To contact the various manufacturers, click here.
For vehicle safety information, contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They offer several free safety publications including the well-regarded Buying A Safer Car report. Call their Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9393.
4. Take a 24-hour test drive.
5. Don't stress out.
6. Make the big decision.
Making the decision can be tough. Real tough. At this point, you've probably heard and read a lot of conflicting opinions. The salesman tells you that this car has more horsepower but a friend tells you that this other car is more reliable but a magazine tells you that the other one is "Car of the Year". Whew.
So how do you choose the right car?
First, forget what the salesmen say. Then forget what your friends say, what the magazines say and what the so-called experts say. Sure, all of the research and opinion gathering is important. That's why you did it. But in the final analysis, you shouldn't buy a car simply because your Aunt Gladys thinks it's so cute.
Remember, this is going to be your car. What really matters is which one you like. So the bottom-line is this:
The car that's right for you is the one that fits your needs and your budget -- and feels right.
That advice may sound over-simplistic, but it's really quite true. You can go bonkers trying to analytically figure out which car to buy. As a matter of fact, if you try hard enough, you can probably make a good argument for buying almost any car. So don't over-analyze this. Simply take into account all of the things that you've learned so far, then find a quiet place and a quiet time and let your intuition be your guide.