Picking and Paying for the ‘Right’ New Car Finding the perfect car for your lifestyle and budget Buying a new vehicle takes time, research and money. With more new car choices than ever, it’s not a selection that should be made lightly. To help consumers, AAA offers a checklist of factors to consider when looking for the ‘right’ new car. “Today’s consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to picking a new vehicle, but that also means the selection process can be much more difficult,” said Gene Castiglioni, Vice President of Sales for AAA South Jersey. “There are numerous factors to consider, many of which take place long before a buyer ever hits a car lot.” When shopping for a new vehicle, AAA recommends the following: • Determine What Is Affordable. Before considering any specific makes or models, determine what is affordable in your budget. Consider how much a trade-in is worth and how much of a down payment you want to put toward the vehicle. Investigate financing options and get an estimate of insurance premiums from a selection of providers. Take time to sit down and crunch the numbers based on the total cost of vehicle ownership to determine how much you can afford without overextending. • Evaluate Driving Habits. To determine what features are right for you, take a realistic look at how the vehicle will be used. Decide what types of trips it will be used for most frequently, how many passengers the vehicle will need to carry and if the vehicle will be driven mostly on the highway or in the city. • Make a Feature Checklist. Make a list of all required features the new vehicle should include, being careful to separate ‘wants’ from ‘needs.’ Determine how much occupant and cargo space is needed and what safety features and technologies are required. Also, consider if fuel economy is important. • Consider Depreciation Costs. The biggest annual expense for new cars is depreciation. Research used car values and consider a model that has a track record of holding its value longer. • New or New to You. Look at pricing options for both new vehicles, as well as models that are 1 to 2 years old. There are benefits to both new and slightly used models. New vehicles typically come with longer warranties, buying incentives from the automaker, the latest features and are widely available. There are two types of used vehicles -- certified pre-owned and used. The advantage of a certified pre-owned vehicle is the original owner has absorbed the majority of the depreciation cost, while the vehicle still has quite a few of the latest features and a manufacturer’s warranty. Non-certified pre-owned vehicles typically are less costly, but are older and come without a manufacturer’s warranty. • Review Warranty and Maintenance Costs. Review the length of the warranty of vehicles being considered and exactly what it covers. Investigate maintenance costs associated with the car by reviewing its recommended maintenance schedule and pricing out the cost of the regularly needed maintenance items. • Investigate Safety Ratings and Features. Check the safety ratings of all models under consideration from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at Safercar.gov and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. • Seek Recommendations and Reviews. Ask friends, family and colleagues for feedback on their vehicles. Read professional reviews, such as those provided by AAA’s Auto Buying experts at AAA.com/ autobuying, as well as feedback from current owners of the models being considered. For vehicle reviews and in-depth analysis of the green vehicle industry, visit AAA.com/greencar. • Do Not Limit Your Choice to One Vehicle. Narrow the choices down to two or three vehicles that meet all the criteria. By allowing flexibility, buyers have more negotiating room and a better chance of finding the best price.
Published by AAA South Jersey. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://www.evergreeneditions.com/article/Finding+The+Perfect+Car/2857285/432195/article.html.