You’re all about that new car life right now and we get it. Shiny, new, and super distracting. There’s a chance your lease is up or maybe this is your first car and it’s all you can think about! Either way, you need to be asking yourself some real questions before you find yourself at a dealership being swept away by all the different options. (Shiny and new)!
Before you drive off into the sunset over the background of your musical montage, we highly recommend asking yourself 5 important questions. You just might surprise yourself. Future car owner, it’s time to read on.
5 Qs Before You Take the Wheel
1. DO YOU NEED IT?
It’s by far the most obvious question, as it leads into the next four questions that proceed it. If you constantly take public transportation to work and otherwise, sit down and run your numbers. Determine what you’ve been spending on trains, buses, or Ubers, and if it might make more sense to travel the distance by car. How far are you from most of the places you frequent? Are you constantly lugging boxes or bags around and dreaming of trunk space? Maybe public transportation has been saving you from traffic or it could mean you’ve been missing out on long-distance events or family parties. Is there parking if you did get a car or will you be cruising around on weekend nights until you find a spot? Once you determine if you “really need it” you can move on to Q #2.
2. CAN. YOU. AFFORD. IT.?! #HELLOFINANCES HOW MUCH CAN YOU SPEND?
What do your finances look like? If they make you cringe, it’s probably best to wait a while. If you have rent or mortgage payments, schooling, and all the regular expenses, make sure you’ll have enough leg room (we’ve gotten good at dad-car-jokes) to tide you over every month. Figure out your max budget (or have Suretys do it for you!) so you can ensure you get the best rate and don’t commit to a number you don’t feel comfortable with. There’s also car payments, gas, insurance, tags, and maintenance. All additional ownership expenses must be considered when looking into affordability. This way, you don’t get all, “SAY WHAT NOW?!” at the dealership when you start talking numbers.
3. WHAT KIND OF CAR SHOULD YOU GET? WHAT FEATURES ARE YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLES?
There’s endless possibilities and it can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you want. Figure out the car size first. Is it a sedan or an SUV? Minivan all the way or trucks for life? Have you been taken by the idea of an electric car? Scope out all your options, go for a few test drives, and think about what the best decision might be for you. If you’re financing a car, you might be “stuck” with it for a while. It might be the longest relationship you’ve ever been in! Be sure it’s right for you. Non-negotiables are important to consider, too. Non-negotiables could mean lots of space, more seats, a huge trunk, specific safety features, or gas mileage!
4. DOES IT FIT YOUR CURRENT LIFESTYLE AND YOUR FUTURE LIFESTYLE?
Are you outdoorsy, city, or both? Every car caters to a different lifestyle. There are so many great options for everyone today. If you have a big family or you’re the friend that’s been anointed as “The Driver,” you may want to consider an SUV or a minivan. There’s no wrong answer because it’s for your life and your needs. A big car with ample trunk space may be the most important factor for you or maybe you’ve been dreaming of a Prius. Will you be growing your family? Car-seats are no fun in tiny cars. Think about your family’s future and/or your own future before you buy a car that you might outgrow in a couple of years. Will it be comfortable for you and others? That’s a question that needs to be asked and answered by you, the driver.
5. HOW DOES IT DRIVE? GAS IS EXPENSIVE!
Mileage, mileage, mileage! Gas is expensive! Figure out how the car handles and how much gas it eats up. Some SUVs may take you to the gas station every few days, while others will last a longer period. Learning how your new car handles is important, too. We highly recommend visiting the dealership and going for a test-drive! Most dealerships will let you try out any car you’d like if you’re interested in it. Practice parking is helpful in that way, as well. If you have little parking space where you live, a bigger car may not be as practical as you might’ve hoped. Consider how it might do on long-distance trips and how comfortable it is to sit in for an extended amount of time. More importantly, make sure you can easily pass snacks back and >forth for all your upcoming road trips!
BONUS TIP: DO SOME RESEARCH!
Information is so readily available today and you should take advantage of that! Do your research and see what’s new on the market. Stay open and be willing to be surprised by different options. Remember that how a car drives and the way it fits into your lifestyle is more important than how fancy its make is. Cars are there to take us places, so make sure there’s a happy seat for you along the journey.
Suretys knows buying a car is complicated. Convincing a parent or a friend to cosign for you adds a lot of
pressure. What if you had your own PLUS ONE? Suretys replaces the need for a cosigner and becomes
your PLUS ONE. The proof is all in the word “significant”: SIGN IF I CAN’T! Suretys takes the weight off
while you take the wheel. Learn more https://plusone.suretys.com/ to join the movement.