A Car Shopping Conundrum: Clues for Choosing the Right Vehicle

2014 Pathfinder Hybrid

When you go shopping for a vehicle these days, you are spoiled with tons of choices and there more options available to buyers than ever before.

To avoid a car shopping conundrum, you will need to ask yourself a few key questions so that you know what type of vehicle you need and want.

List your needs

You might have a favorite brand and therefore decide to see whether Nissan or whichever car makers you happen to like, have a car that appeals.

Nothing wrong with narrowing down the field like that, but you should ideally assess your needs and think practically about some key considerations, so you end up buying a car that ticks as many boxes as possible.
List out your priorities such as the number of passengers you need to carry regularly and also the type of driving you do, such as driving on plenty of highways or plenty of off-road activity.

Fuel economy might be important if you are going to have a long daily commute to do with your vehicle and maybe you need a lot of cargo space to comfortably cope with everything you and a family might need to take with you.

Setting a budget

Most of us will normally have to make some sort of compromise in order to stay on budget and to ensure we get great value for money.

Choosing a car that you really want is a bit pointless if it is way out of your budget, so deciding on a price level and setting a budget is an important part of the car buying process.

If you are paying cash for a car then you obviously know your budget and how much you want to spend but if you are going to be taking out a finance deal, the question that you need to ask yourself is how much can you comfortably afford to pay on a finance deal each month?

A good rule of thumb is to set yourself a limit for a car finance payment of no more than a maximum of 20% of your monthly take-home paycheck.

Understanding the different types of car financing and your options can help you to decide the best way to pay for your vehicle and how much you can afford to pay for a car so that you stay within your budget.

Lease or buy

If you decide to take out a lease rather than buy your car of choice, there are pros and cons to this type of deal.
With a lease deal, you will often find that you should be able to afford a more expensive car for less money each month, but the downside is you don’t own the car at the end of the deal. The fact that you can drive a new car every couple of years and don’t have to worry about a trade-in either, are plus points, but you are paying money to rent a vehicle rather than own it, so you won’t have anything to show for your payments at the end of the term.