Buying a new car can be quite daunting. There are so many options, and it’s a big commitment. You need to be sure you are choosing the right vehicle and the right dealer. It pays to do a bit of homework before you hand over your money, sign any contracts, and receive your keys. Read this short car buying guide before you begin.
Research, compare, and find what’s right for you
The first step is to work out precisely what you can afford. The rule of thumb is the 20/4/10 ratio. You should have 20% of the car’s price saved up as a down payment, aim to finish paying off the vehicle in a maximum of four years, and look for a car with a total price that does not exceed 10-20% of your salary after taxes. When calculating your budget, remember to take the total cost of owning the car into account – not just the sticker price and monthly installments. Look at the cost of insurance, fuel, maintenance, and administration fees. You can estimate your fuel costs using Natural Resource Canada’s online gas cost calculator, and get a good idea of your insurance costs by visiting Ratehub.ca.
Once you have made these calculations, your search will be considerably easier, as you will be able to limit it to only those cars that fit what you can afford. You can then start looking for cars within that range, looking for the mix of makes, models, and features that you prefer, as far as your budget will allow.
Your budget will also determine whether a used or new car is right for you. Buying a new car can be a much easier undertaking, as you are getting a brand new vehicle with no hidden history. However, you may not be able to afford a new model, meaning you will have to find a good second-hand car. You really need to take care in the pre-owned market. Carefully compare prices on similar models and do plenty of research on various dealers before settling on one. Avoid private sales if you can.
As challenging as it can be to buy a new car, just remember to take your time and think carefully before making your choice. Whether you opt for new or pre-owned, don’t compromise on your choice of dealer. Seek out a reputable dealer with plenty of good references and a long history of steady business. CRS Automotive is one such dealer serving the Hamilton and Stoney Creek, ON. Contact us and browse our range of quality new and pre-owned vehicles. We will do our best to make your car buying experience as rewarding as possible.