Buying a car is one of the most important financial decisions a person makes throughout his life. For some people, it can be a great investment to make their daily lives more convenient. However, it’s undeniable that purchasing a vehicle can cost a significant amount of money. The acquisition of a new vehicle can be a headache and in order to make a good decision, it is necessary to follow a series of guidelines that help facilitate the process.
As obvious as it sounds, the first step is to be clear. Before starting to search for the ideal car it is necessary to know what type of vehicle you are looking for. That is, define what the needs are and what are the essential characteristics desired and, based on this, establish an approximate budget. For instance, if you need a family-friendly vehicle, you may need to opt for a van. On the other hand, if you’ll be the only one using it, a standard four-seater may suffice.
It is also important to establish in the long term the needs that the vehicle will cover, since a car has an average lifespan of 13 to 14 years , although this depends on the type of use it is made of. Traveling constantly is not the same as making small daily trips.
Automatic or manual change?
This may be one of the simplest decisions, since drivers tend to be quite clear about their preferences. However, it is not something to be overlooked. Some drivers don’t want to give up on the manual gearbox experience, while others prefer to give in to the comfort of the automatic, especially those who spend much of their driving time in a jam. In addition to the ’emotional’ aspect, other factors such as the price of maintenance also come into play here .
It’s advisable to purchase a vehicle you’re comfortable driving so you don’t run into problems later on.
Choice by fuel type
This is another of the most important decisions since here you have to assess the price of the car, fuel and even certain prohibitions when driving in certain areas. For instance, if you’re checking some online auto auctions, you need to check the details of your preferred car including its engine and fuel before purchasing. Today, the market offers vehicles powered by gasoline, diesel or gas, in addition to hybrid and electric ones. It is advisable to stop to consider all the options, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
- Gasoline: the main attraction of buying a car with a gasoline engine is its reduced price. Despite the fact that a vehicle with a diesel engine consumes less and hydrocarbon is cheaper. In the event that we are going to buy a toyota land cruiser with which we are not going to travel many kilometers ( approximately not more than 20,000 km a year ), a Gasoline powered vehicle might be the best option.
- Diesel or diesel: since the Volkswagen case and with the increase in anti-pollution measures in the main cities, this fuel has lost some popularity. When considering buying a diesel engine, you must mainly assess how much use will be given to the car. That is, if the extra cost associated with the vehicle is going to be compensated with the price of a cheaper hydrocarbon. Furthermore, you need to check the maintenance and repair expenses you may incur over time to maintain your diesel-powered vehicle.
- Gas: one of the alternatives that is gaining popularity is that of cars powered by gas. Among which we must distinguish between CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). Both cost less than gasoline or diesel. However, it is worth noting the CNG, since it is the one with the lowest price. The purchase of these vehicles is usually associated with financial aid from the State. In contrast, the refueling stations at the moment are more limited.
- Hybrid: it is increasingly common to meet hybrid cars on the roads. These vehicles give their driver all the benefits of an electric car (especially plug-ins) with the added convenience of having a gasoline engine when the battery is discharged. In addition, they are especially attractive for those who travel through urban centers, since the battery takes advantage of the recharging energy from braking to self-recharge. You can consider this option if you plan to drive long hours frequently.
- Electric: Electric cars undoubtedly represent the greenest alternative. These engines do not need fuel to operate and can be charged directly at home or at one of the 3,800 charging points located throughout Spain and Portugal. Another benefit provided by these motors is the possibility of driving on roads with anti-pollution restrictions. However, some electric cars cost a little more than standard gasoline-powered vehicles. Hence, if you’re considering this option, you should be prepared to shell out a considerable amount of money.
Rent or buy?
Today the market offers numerous alternatives when purchasing a new vehicle . The decision is not based solely on buying a new or second-hand car. It is also possible to rent it and dispose of it as if it were your own. The most common modalities are:
- ‘Renting’: this modality broadly represents a long-term vehicle rental. In this case the driver is not the owner of the car, but for a monthly amount you can dispose of it as you wish . The main advantage it offers is that the tenant can forget about added expenses like registration tax, insurance or maintenance costs. You only have to pay the fee that you have agreed with the company. As well as the price of the fuel you consume.
- ‘Leasing’: usually addressed to companies or professionals with economic activities. That carry out a commercial, industrial, agricultural or service activity that needs equipment (vehicles in this case). The company acquires the vehicle or the fleet that the client wishes. And it is rented in exchange for fixed or variable fees in which maintenance costs are not included. In addition, at the end of the contract, the lessee customer can acquire ownership of the vehicle by exercising the purchase option.
- Once these decisions have been made, the next, and not insignificant, step is to investigate . Find information about the brand, model and different offers offered by the market. Consult external opinions of other users that may be useful in making decisions and request a vehicle test. In addition, in case of purchase, it is also necessary to consider the best time to make it. Since depending on the time of year or other factors. Such as the renewal of the model, the price can vary considerably.
The time of purchase
Not everyone can have all the money to buy a car. It is simply not the best time to make a large outlay. In these cases, it is worth evaluating the option of requesting a loan that helps in the purchase process and adapts to the buyer’s needs. Some banks and lending companies offer flexible car loan options for clients who need to purchase a vehicle. You can check with your bank if you’re qualified for a loan to ease the initial payment you need to settle upon buying a car.