February 15

What Should I Look For In A New Car?

Purchasing a new car is a major investment, so you want to make sure you choose the right vehicle for your budget, needs, and wants. This begins with the right questions and considerations. When you know exactly what to look for in a new car, you can narrow down your options significantly so you’re only considering those cars that would be a good fit for you.

What Type of Vehicle Do You Want?

Start with the basics, and consider which class of vehicle you’re most interested in so you know where to start on the car lot. There are a few basic choices to consider:

  • New car: A new car is a great option if you typically have no more than three passengers and want to prioritize affordability, gas mileage, and maneuverability. 
  • New SUV or minivan: An SUV or minivan will give you a more spacious experience on the road, ideal if you have a big family or lots of cargo. Some come with third-row seating, so you can seat up to eight people, and these larger, more rugged vehicles are ideal for towing trailers, campers, or off-road adventures.
  • New truck: A new truck is a great choice if you need to transport large loads for either professional or personal projects, and they’re useful for towing and off-roading as well. Some have as much seating as a car, so you can still bring your family along for the ride, but you’ll pay a premium for all these perks, so make sure your new truck fits your budget.

Should You Buy a New or Used Car?

After you’ve settled on the type of vehicle you want, your next major decision is whether to buy new or used. With a new vehicle, you get that luxurious new car smell, pristine condition, and a complete range of customization options. A new car typically comes with a solid warranty coverage, which the manufacturer can afford to provide because new cars rarely need repairs in the early years. You’ll also get the latest and greatest technology, safety features, and optimized efficiency with a brand-new car.

A used car gives you a great price break. Some vehicles lose as much as 40% of their value in the first year alone. Purchasing a car that’s even 1 year old can save you from the cost of that steep depreciation while still allowing you to cash in on the perks of a nearly new car. If you choose a vehicle that’s several years old, the savings are even greater. It’s easier to research an older vehicle as well. You can pinpoint which options offer the best value, exhibit the fewest long-term problems, and have the lowest insurance rates.

What’s Your Car-Buying Budget?

It’s essential that you carefully examine your budget to determine how much you can afford before purchasing a new car. If you’re financing the vehicle, keep in mind that your monthly car payments are not the only expense that you’ll have to shoulder. You’ll also be responsible for expenses such as:

  • License plate, title, and registration fees.
  • Ongoing maintenance.
  • Fuel costs.
  • Car insurance.
  • Occasional vehicle repairs.

You should look for a car that fits your budget without putting excessive strain on your finances. This way, you’ll be able to comfortably manage repairs, however unexpected, and pay for the routine maintenance that’s required to keep your car in good condition.

How Will You Use Your Vehicle?

Consider all the ways you plan to use your new vehicle so you can select a car that perfectly fits your lifestyle, needs, and preferences. Ask yourself some of these questions, and use the answers to inform the questions you ask at the dealership about your top options.

Who Will Ride in the Vehicle? 

Make sure you select a car with comfortable seating that’s spacious enough for your passengers. If you carpool with adults, backseat legroom is an important consideration. If you have a large family, think about selecting a car with enough seating for your partner, kids, and at least one friend for outings.

What Will You Tote in the Trunk?

If your car is primarily for the daily commute, you may not need a spacious trunk. However, if you frequently tote sports gear or take long road trips, you’ll want to have more cargo space. 

Where Are You Going? 

Do you need a vehicle for city driving, cruising back roads, or hopping off the beaten path? Will you take your new car for a trip to the beach? If you’re thinking about an electric vehicle, consider where the nearest charging stations are. Do you have access to enough of these, or will you need a hybrid vehicle to ensure that you can get where you need to go?

How Does the Vehicle Drive?

You’ll find a lot of misleading information when you’re researching different cars. Most manufacturers eagerly cite the zero-to-60 acceleration speeds, but few drivers need to use this extreme technology. The average daily driver won’t need full throttle or extremely high speeds. Even all-wheel drive is unnecessary for most vehicles unless you tackle a lot of serious winter driving. What’s really important is how the vehicle feels when you’re actually driving it.

Schedule a test drive of your top picks, and see what it’s like to be behind the wheel. Plan a route that lets you experience a variety of driving conditions, including city streets, gravel roads, highways, hills, and curves. Do your best to include the types of driving you routinely encounter so you can get a good feel for how this car will work for you.

Start Exploring Your Options

Now that you have a solid idea of what you’re looking for, you can start exploring your options. Come check out our inventory and explore the latest incentives we have to offer. You may find that your desired ride is more affordable than you thought.


New car shopping

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