The #1 Question…
This is America; driving is a popular pastime. And one of the most frequently asked questions I get is: WHAT IS THE BEST CAR TO BUY?!
This is the hardest question to answer, too. This is for a variety of reasons. Firstly, most people that ask it hope (and usually expect) that you will say the same car that they already own, regardless of whether it is the best. Secondly, different types of cars suit different purposes, so what fits one customer won’t fit another. Finally, everyone’s budget is dramatically different and the LAST thing I want to do is make assumptions about anyone’s financial standing.
This doesn’t mean that I can’t provide some car purchasing guidance. So, because it’s Christmas time, I’ll share some with you as my little gift. 😉
- Before you do anything, have an idea for the total purchase price that best suits your budget. I don’t mean have an idea for your monthly payment – BIG DIFFERENCE! Today, financing for new and used cars is offered for up to and beyond 72, 84 & 96 months! So, paying $300 a month for 60 month is much different than paying $300 for 84 months. Start with the total purchase price first, and then work back from there to figure out your desired monthly cost.
- Know what features and qualities you want in a car before you ever step on a dealership floor. Leather seats? Towing package? Third row seating? You have to know what you’re NOT willing to do without before you can make an informed decision. A two-seater sports car will not do very well for a family of 6 with 2 car seats.
- RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! I hear a lot of people researching sticker prices at local dealerships, but when I ask them what the gas mileage of the model is or the length of the factory warranty I get a blank stare. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Find out if this car is worth your hard earned money before you start writing out the check.
- To lease or to finance…that is the question. It actually isn’t too hard of a question because you can solve that conundrum in a few quick queries: do you commute more than 20 miles to work a day? Do you plan on trading in your current car? Do you hope to see an end to a car payment in the next 3-6 years? If the answer to any of these is ‘Yes,’ then leasing is probably not for you.
- Finally, NO PAYMENT is the BEST PAYMENT! Taking care of the car you’re in is your best investment most times. Regular maintenance can keep you in your car years past your final payment, which saves you the most. And what better way to keep that car running like new than to come to Stetson for all of your service!
So, what IS the best car to buy? Whichever car makes you happy to drive every time you get in. Because, really, you should be as happy with it when you send that last payment in as you were with the first payment. And only YOU can know what makes you happy. 🙂