Shopping is one of those necessary rituals of modern life. We can do it online or in person, but we have to do it sometime. There are relatively easy things to shop for like groceries, clothes, and even certain services (like a new dentist, for instance). Then there are the tricky, big-ticket items like houses and cars. Cars an especially big deal because you need a car that keeps you safe without breaking your budget. In most situations, you’ll have the chance to buy an item that’s brand new or buy an item that’s used. There are a multitude of arguments for both sides, and, as usual, a lot depends on your particular circumstances. The more you think about this sort of thing before you start shopping, the more likely you are to make a decision that works for you.
Make a list
Lists can do a great job of helping us focus on what our top priorities really are. It’s a great way to let the really important stuff rise to the top and watch the less critical stuff float away. So let’s use cars as an example. Before you head to the nearest car lot to take a look at either new or used cars for sale, sit down with a pen and piece of paper (or with your phone and the notes app if that makes you more comfortable). Close your eyes and imagine your ideal vehicle. Does it have heated seats and a heated steering wheel for those cold winter mornings? Is it an automatic transmission or a manual transmission? Keep in mind that manual transmission vehicles are increasingly hard to find, mostly because people who are comfortable driving stick are increasingly hard to find. If you want a fancy ride that’s loaded with the latest in car gadget, then buying new might be a better bet. If you just want something reliable with a car alarm, know that you can easily find that in a used vehicle.
Another reason to make list? It helps you avoid any high-pressure sales tactics. Not every dealership uses those tactics, but some do, and it’s important to be able to walk away if you aren’t comfortable with the tone of the conversation. If you can’t say no to someone giving you the hard sale, you risk spending thousands of dollars on a car that you only sort of like.
Most of us have friends who buy a car and then trade it in for something better every year or two. Talk to the frequent buyers in your life and ask what is most important, as well as what ended up not really mattering as much. Some people buy cars a lot because they’re restless and get bored easily, while others seem to always end up with inferior cars. Leasing a car could be a smart option for getting something new frequently without breaking the bank and having too much of a commitment. Best Car Deals Now is a great site for finding lease deals for all makes and models of cars. Feel free to talk to the sibling or coworker who has been driving the same vehicle for five or six years, too. There are a lot of ways to approach buying a car. A used car is generally a better value because of how quickly new rides depreciate, but if you really want a new vehicle, then getting a lease is the way to go.