It’s easy, when car shopping, to get wrapped up in the excitement of the right now and forget about problems that may crop up down the road. But before you put down your hard-earned money for that new car, stop and look into the following issues, which can have a big impact on ownership satisfaction.
As longtime drivers know all too well, the cost of gasoline tends to go in cycles. Some years it’s low and you’ve got money in your wallet; other years it’s high and you probably struggle to make ends meet. Ignoring gas mileage is easy when prices are low, but sit down and work out how much you’ll pay for gas, on average, especially when prices inevitably go up. It’ll make the difference between a car you can afford when times are tight and a car you can’t.
We all need auto insurance, so we all buy it, but more often than not, we just buy the least expensive insurance we can find. The truth is that depending on the car you own, your insurance can cost you far less or far more than you were expecting. Cars with a record of breaking down or otherwise getting in trouble on the road are going to run you more in insurance costs; in fact, even the color of your car can have an impact on how much you’re paying. Call your current insurer and have them walk you through how your premiums might change with the new car you’re acquiring.
There’s no experience quite like turning the key only to find that the engine doesn’t turn over. But it’s something all of us experience at some point. And some cars are more prone to breakdowns than others, so before you buy, look into the history of the model you’re purchasing. Similarly, check to ensure that parts will be readily available, and consider both aftermarket availability and the ease of buying original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, parts. Finally, check that your local mechanic is able to fix the car you’re considering.
When you’re buying a car it’s easy to forget that there will come a day when your loan is paid off and you’ll own the car. And that sooner or later you’re going to be trading it in. Of course there are a number of factors that contribute to the value of your trade-in, but it’s generally fairly easy to extrapolate from how previous models that have kept their value how a current car will do. So look into what your car will be worth once you pay it off. Otherwise you might find yourself stuck with a car you can’t sell.
Clearly there’s much to consider when buying, so before shopping, do a little research and see what you can learn about what your car will cost you. The less you pay to keep your car on the road, the better.