Get Smart - 4 Steps To Become A Smarter Car Buyer
By Bob Gordon
THE AUTO CHANNEL
New and Used Car Research is serious business.
Choosing which car or truck to consider for purchase can be a daunting experience…so much so, that many would-be smart shoppers put down their mouse and “go with their gut”…BAD IDEA!
Buying the wrong vehicle is a very bad decision that will stay with you for years and years and years…every time you go to use the new purchase you will be unhappy at the least, and at worst inconvenienced because the vehicle you bought doesn’t do the job you needed it to do…so don’t settle, choosing a short list of the "right vehicles" to buy is as easy as 1 2 3 4.
1 - Determine your PRACTICAL NEEDS for a new vehicle;
How will you be using your new car? How many passengers will you be carrying? What type of topography will you be driving on? How far will you be driving each week? Will your new car be too tall to fit into your garage? Will your 6’5” son be able to sit in the back seat? Do you need to haul lots of luggage or recreational gear? Will you be in a car pool? ETC.
2 - Determine your BUDGET and STICK TO IT
Remember the cost of the vehicle is just one of your monthly costs. Fuel, Maintenance, Depreciation, End Value, Insurance, Repairs are just a few of the additional costs of operating a car.
3 - Determine your EMOTIONAL NEEDS, which car or truck really makes you happy when you drive it.
Today’s cars and trucks are made really well and with the proper care will remain serviceable almost forever, the average age a consumer owns their car has risen to over 8 years…so if you hate it you will have a lot of disagreeable moments over the next decade…so you better make sure you are really happy with your choice.
SEE ALSO: My Test Drives Tool
4 - Test Drive, Test Drive, Test Drive, Test Drive
Buying your next vehicle should not just be a couple of hour task but should take place only after careful considerations and research. And after investing your time to do steps 1,2 and 3, and then coming up with your short list of potentials, DON"'T BLOW IT! Spend your next two weekends driving each car or truck on your short list.
4A. DO NOT TEST DRIVE WITH YOUR SPOUSE OR PARTNER
DO IT ALONE. THEN COMPARE NOTES ABOUT EACH CAR, BY BEING ALONE NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE OFFERED OR PRESSURED TO DO, YOU HAVE A BUILT IN EXCUSE TO NOT BUY UNTIL YOU TALK TO YOUR (Fill in the blank____), MAKE SURE YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY 100% SURE YOU CAN HAVE A LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP WITH THIS VEHICLE!
TEST DRIVE WITHOUT A TIME LIMIT
Take your Test Drives not for 10 minutes but for hours, take your potential purchases to the same places you will be driving each day, see how it parks in your regular parking lot… see how it handles a trip to the supermarket, see how it handles the bumpy roads on your shortcuts, see how it does in the rain (or snow and ice), see how it does in stop and go traffic, because the decision you make will either make you happy or miserable forever, and aren’t you worth the time to find out?
OK you say, all the above is easier said than done, bull doo doo says The Auto Channel, because the links below will lead you to the specific tools you must use before choosing which vehicle will earn your votes and become your next vehicle, it’s as easy as 1 2 3 4.
Perfect New Car Match
Perfect New Car Match is another buyer-centric vehicle research tool from the smart guys at The Auto Channel. Perfect New Car Match gives you the power to narrow down your good match consideration list and create a manageable short list of new vehicles that meet your practical and emotional needs and your budget
Find Specs, Pictures, Reviews and Comparisons on 5341 Current model year New Cars, SUV's Crossovers, Mini Vans, Pick-ups and Luxury cars.
Brand Specific Car, Truck, RV Buyer's Guides
Each guide will immerse buyers in a single auto brand multimedia research library. Research and compare one model with the other...research and compare the latest version of each model with its predecessor...read reviews, see specs and prices and become a smarter buyer.
My Test Drives Tool This iPhone and web app allows you to rate over 30 exterior and interior features, comfort levels, performance ratings, and qualitative feelings during each test drive (pull the vehicle over and stop before using) and archives them for viewing at a later time.
Used Car Buyers Guide
Find Specs, Pictures, Reviews and Comparisons on 28,345 Prior Model Year (2014-1997) Cars, SUV's Crossovers, Mini Vans, Pick-ups and Luxury cars.
News from and about each vehicle maker in North America, broken down by brand for easy access...another TACH exclusive
New Car Choices Listed By Monthly Payments
Exclusive Patent Pending Easy to use tool: Just enter your preferred monthly payment and see what cars are available for that monthly payment
Car Reviews and Road Tests (2014-1993)
Whatever you are researching, you'll find first-hand unbiased professional opinions about the new cars and light trucks that interest you. Reviews include; costs, features, dimensions and capacities of each car. Plus a click away is the ability to compare your choice against all other cas sold in North America.
4 Car Compar-A-Graph
The Internet's first and still the best head-to-head analysis device that allows buyers to compare, contrast and then evaluate vehicles against nearly 200 dimension and capacity criteria, until they are certain which vehicles they should be considering for purchase. Still the only...still the best.
Total New Car Operating Costs 1-5 Years (By Model By State)
Vincentric LLC and The Auto Channel have teamed up to help you answer some important vehicle ownership questions...Are Hybrids Really Cheaper To Own and Operate? Which Cars REALLY Cost The Least To Own? How Much Does Poor Fuel Economy Add To a Vehicle's Total Operating Cost? How Can a Car That Cost More To Buy Be Cheaper to Own? Click and Find out here!
Rank All Cars and Trucks By Specs and Dimensions 2014-1997
This proprietary Internet feature gives users the ability to RANK cars and light trucks by 100's of dimensions and capacities. For example, you can instantly find which sedan has the most headroom; what convertible has the most horsepower; or which mini-van will fit into your garage, without letting air out of the tires.
New Car Rebates and Special Financing
Know before you go to your local dealer
Know before you go to your local dealer: Check for recalls on all models and years before you buy
NHTSA Service Bulletins
Know before you go to your local dealer: Check for Service Bulletins on all models and years before you buy
How to Buy a Safer Car
Online brochure published by the IIHS, don't even think of buying before you read this!
Compare Total Operating Cost of Car and Truck Ownership
Regardless of the "value" claims that you may read in car reviews or hear in ads, a vehicle's economic value is based on how much it will cost to own and operate compared to its purchase price. In a sense, ownership costs are "what you pay" and the purchase price is "what you get." The less you pay for what you get the better off you are. The Auto Channel and Vincentric LLC, offers this on-line automotive research tool that gives the total cost of owning and operating their vehicle over a 5 year period. BE AWARE! The initial vehicle purchase price is only one part of the cost of ownership...eliminate any surprises and become a smarter buyer