1- You like the color
2- You like the look and style
3- You like all the features
4- You like the brands popularity
5- You like the smell
6- Your family and or friends own one
Now, let’s ask some valuable questions that you may not likely know during your car buying experience.
What does the car weigh?
Weight has a lot to do with fuel economy, sure you want the big SUV 4×4 but are you ready for 2-3 fuel fill ups a week? Oh… how many times a year do you even use the 4×4? Not very smart to pay an extra $1,500.00 to $3,000.00 for a feature you never use….BUT, ITS SOUND GOOD TO EVERYONE ELSE!
What size are the tires?
So you need new tires and you take the advice of the person selling them to you, but is it the right tire for your vehicle? They will sell you tires on performance & price, but is that the best for your safety and fuel economy?
Does the car have a spare tire?
Nearly a third of new vehicles no longer come with a spare tire as standard equipment. This is automakers way to reduce weight in cars to improve fuel economy. But what happens if your on the side of the road with flat or blown tire?
What liter size is the motor?
The general rule of thumb is that a larger engine produces more power than a smaller engine. This means that a larger engine is able to accelerate much faster than a smaller engine, it is able to tow much heavier loads than smaller engines. So in your buying decision, if you need to accelerate faster, opt for an engine with a bigger engine size. If you carry heavy things, a big engine will do you better than a smaller engine for the sake of functionality.
What are the safety features of the car?
Car Safety Feature – Auto Emergency Braking (AEB) * Curtain Airbags * Electronic *Stability Control * Driver Attention Detection * Active Braking Systems * Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) * Active Cruise Control* Thorax Airbags With Head Protection. These things are not discussed at the time of you negotiating the price of the car your interested in. It only comes up after someone is hurt during a collision. So, how do you know if the vehicle your about to buy has them?
What’s covered under the factory warranty?
The standard 3 years/36,000 miles is revealed during your negotiation, but did you know that the power train warranty goes on much longer then that. Some makes go 5-10 year 80-100k miles. But, the salesman will not focus on that; rather he will express how important it is to buy an extended warranty.
Do I really need an extended warranty?
Do you really need an extended warranty? That will depend on what type of owner you are? In some cases, it very important and in some, it’s just a waste of money. Did you know that you can cancel your extended warranty and or transfer it to the new owner if you sell it? Did you know that within the first year of your extended warranty contract, if you have no claims, you can cancel it and get a pro-rated refund?—(not all states, but most)
Go Beyond Your Emotions
These are just a few series of questions to start with when car buying. Your first love of the car is solely on color, style, look, touch and smell. Down the road you become aware of all the important things you should have known. A car is not in investment, it depreciates the moment you drive it home. Your tires begin to wear out within the very first few thousand miles. You drive your vehicle from point A to point B and the only thing in between those to points is your vanity. The car you bought was not purchased on functionality, but rather on looks and status.
We do it with everything we purchase, from clothes to homes to cars. The key is to understand how to be a smart shopper based on needs rather then wants. It’s sad but true that more than 85% of car consumers keep repeating this cycle over and over again.
When you become aware, your love of the look and feel of that vehicle lessens. You complain about how much trouble this car has been, you will never buy this model again and yada, yada, yada. You trade it in and do it all over again! When you understand the fundamentals of auto ownership and its responsibilities, you’ll better embrace the truth of what’s to come.
Doing research on purchase price, trade in value and interest is one thing. Doing research on what you need as a functioning vehicle is a whole other thing. Take a moment and detach from your emotional space when car buying and focus on functionality and needs rather then what your friends, family or your social status.