If you’re shopping for a new car in Tempe, Arizona, it pays to prepare for your purchase and plan ahead. There are some important steps you should take to identify your needs and budget, so let’s go through each part of the process to set you up for success.
To get started, determine the kind of vehicle you need. Are there any roles or duties it must fill beyond your basic transportation? Are there any qualities that will make it better suited to your needs? Safety, reliability, and affordability are always important qualities to consider, but consider the specifics of your lifestyle. If you have a family to haul, or if you frequently carpool with a group, you might benefit from a large SUV with plenty of passenger space. If space isn’t a priority, then a smaller sedan could offer all the utility and comfort you need, along with rewarding fuel efficiency. If good gas mileage is a key quality for you, don’t overlook your hybrid and electric options.
You’ll need to choose a vehicle that’s priced within your means, and setting a budget can protect you from investing too much of your finances into your next car. A budget can also allow you to eliminate options that would put too much strain on your current funds. To set your budget, consider the auto-shopping advice that your transportation costs should take no more than 15 percent of your monthly income.
Remember that you’ll have to pay more than the price of the car itself when you buy your next vehicle. A car’s true cost of ownership involves other factors, so make sure your budget can cover any option’s car insurance, auto loan interest rate, fees, maintenance costs, and expenses for gas or electric charging.
From samples at the supermarket to a new pair of shoes, it’s always a good idea to try before you buy. That’s certainly true of an investment as important as your next vehicle, so once you’ve zeroed in on your top two or three options, schedule a time with the dealer to take each one for a test drive. Calling to schedule your test drive in advance will give the dealer time to get each vehicle ready for you so you can get straight to the test run when you arrive at the dealership. Once you’re in the driver’s seat, ask yourself questions like these:
If you’re like the majority of car shoppers, you’re not planning to pay for the entire price of the car all at once. Fortunately, it’s easy to finance your purchase with an auto loan. When you apply for financing, you’ll provide potential lenders with key info about your income and credit, and they’ll use that info to determine how much money you can borrow for the purchase. You’ll then have a period of time (often 36, 48, or 60 months) to repay the auto loan plus interest.
In certain cases, shoppers might qualify for specific auto loan types with their own unique conditions or benefits. If you’re eligible for a first-time car buyer’s loan, you might be able to have your application fees waived, and you could also take advantage of a lower down payment. Other loan types might offer benefits like lower interest rates and more, so be sure to ask about what kinds of auto loans are available to you. If you have a vehicle that you’d like to trade in for something new, use our Value Your Trade tool for a free online estimate of how it could help you make your down payment.
After your test drives, you should have the info you need to pick your next vehicle. If your top choices all deliver on the essentials, you might have to look more closely to choose the winner. Are there any capabilities or features that make it better suited to your needs and preferences? It might boil down to a matter of taste if one model sports a style or interior layout that appeals to you most. You could be driving this vehicle for years, of course, so ask yourself which one you know you’ll be happy with years down the road.
Whenever it’s time to find your next car, we’ll be here to help at Tempe Kia. Call or come see us at 8005 S Autoplex Loop, Tempe, Arizona 85284, to see what we have waiting on the lot for you.