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5 Crucial Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing What Car to Buy

5 Crucial Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing What Car to Buy

With so many vehicle manufacturers and countless different car models out there, it’s almost impossible to pick a car that would work best for you.

Most people end up buying a car that their friends or family recommended, rather than researching and finding better options. Others tend to fall prey to clever advertising techniques or sleek car designs.

Regardless, you need to figure out why you’re buying a car and what functions you need it to serve. Here are six questions you should ask yourself.

How Much Can You Really Afford?

Putting aside whether you want to lease or buy your next car, determine how much you can realistically allocate towards a car payment every month. Knowing your budget will give you a better idea of the cars in your price range and help you negotiate better.

The general rule of thumb here is that car payments shouldn’t cost more than 15% of your monthly income. If you decide to lease the car, payments shouldn’t exceed more than 10%, counting the cost of fuel and insurance separately.

Will You Buy the Car or Lease it?

Next comes the question of what method you’ll choose to pay for the car. Leasing and buying both have their advantages and disadvantages, knowing more about what each option entails should help you come to a decision.

Buying a car is quite expensive initially and you’ll have to deal with higher monthly payments, but once you pay it off, you will own the car. On the other hand, a lease has lower monthly payments and requires little or no money at all in the beginning. But, once the lease ends, you won’t have a car anymore.

More Power or Better Fuel Economy?

The answer to this one comes down to what you’ll be using the car for. If you need the vehicle for your daily commute to work or dropping your kids off and handling chores, opting for better fuel economy would be in your best interest.

However, if you want to ride a car that focuses on quickness and maneuverability, you’ll need the power and smoothness of a V6 or a V8. There are also in-between options provided by manufacturers like ford that use small turbo V6s while delivering V8-like performance.

Do You Prefer an Automatic or Manual Shift?

Driving style and preference are also some factors to consider when buying a vehicle. Deciding between an automatic and manual transmission isn’t an easy choice. 

Driving a stick can become a chore in busy traffic but makes the driving experience a lot more fun. While automatic transmission cars are more relaxing and often give better fuel economy than the same car with a manual. These days many automatics also come with a manual-shift mode that works the same but with no clutch.

Have You Considered the Costs of Ownership?

You may have found a car that’s quite cheap to buy, but do you know how much it costs to own? A cheap car might not only cost you more in insurance and maintenance expenses, but it might also depreciate faster, losing its resale value significantly.

Before you get set on buying a particular vehicle, estimate how much ownership could cost you in the long term. Use an evaluation tool like TCO or TMV to know if you’re getting the best deal for your money.


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