If you are in the market of buying a new or used automobile, there is always plenty to consider. Some of us may be spontaneous and impulsive when we instantly fall in love with a vehicle and we become quick to close the deal, many others prefer to take their due diligence and prolong the shopping cycle.
Affordability is typically the most dominant factor in determining what style or year of vehicle we are going to shop for, will it something brand new or perhaps only a few years old with low mileage? Do we need a truck for functionality or is it a sporty convertible for summer cruising? There is an unwritten rule when it comes to purchasing, although you can find it on a google search. When buying an automobile you should be able to afford to pay at least 20% of the purchase price up front and financing for the balance should be for no more than four years. Monthly car payments should not exceed 10 per cent of your gross monthly income. Of course, we are all aware that living in debt is not unfamiliar grounds and we often forgo our planned budget for the pleasure of driving something we know we typically cannot afford. We have all probably been guilty of this purchase at one time or another.
Here are some other important factors to consider before you commit to the purchase:
IS IT ECONOMICAL
If you plan on using this purchase for a daily commute to work and your annual km total is high, you will want to narrow your search to a vehicle that will provide some excellent gas mileage and is popular in every category of reliability. Probably a smaller engine size is best, but you will be sacrificing some extra horsepower in most cases.
If protecting the environment is high on your priority list, then going green is the direction you will prefer when car shopping. Electric cars can reduce emissions and even save you money. You may not have as wide of a selection to choose from, but this market has come a long way over recent years and offers more than it ever had previously.
Automobile insurance is a must-have, you have no choice. However, there can be a large variance in the cost of insurance depending on the vehicle you drive and where you live. Drivers in Niagara will pay a different rate than those in Haldimand County or nearby cities such as Hamilton. We suggest asking your insurance agent to compare insurance quotes a few vehicles once you narrowed your search and determine at that time if insurance will be a huge factor in your purchasing decision.
USE OF VEHICLE
What will the vehicle typically use for is of major consideration? Do you require a car for commuting each day or will you be enjoying this purchase for the sheer joy of summer months, maybe even considering going with a convertible? If winter weather is a factor in the use of your vehicle, the option of AWD or four-wheel drive could become very appealing. We certainly see a lot of trucks on the road these days, they have never really lost their overall appeal over the years due to the convenience of load capacity and cargo space, plus they drive as smooth as many cars on the market.
If your vehicle has existing damage, chances are your insurance company will not be offering any physical damage coverage under your auto insurance policy. You will also want to be leary if there was ever damage which has been repaired, be sure to get an auto report that provides disclosure of all prior damage to that vehicle by previous owners.
READ VEHICLE REVIEWS
There is a ton of information available on the internet about every year, make and model of vehicle. That includes many reviews by others who have owned that particular automobile, it is always recommended to see if certain years or models are prone to problems. Look for reviews that are consistent, many vehicles have a mixed share of both good and bad reviews but you will want to know if that is a true indicator of what to expect or did the buyer just not purchase the right vehicle for what they needed or intended.
Article Written by Darcy Johnson
Erie Mutual Insurance – Manager of Sales, Marketing & Business Development
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