Research shows a person spends an average of 10 hours researching a car before buying. Here are a few things to consider before signing the papers and driving a new vehicle off the lot.

  1. How Much Can You Afford?
    This is a great place to start for all prospective buyers. Take into consideration how much money you are left with during the month after you have expensed basic needs, such as rent and utilities. Also remember you will be paying interest each month, and will need to pay for upkeep.
  2. Buy Used
    If you are looking to save money, buying a used car rather than a new one can help you cut costs. Typically, new cars depreciate as soon as you drive them off the lot. For many people, purchasing a car that is a couple years old can actually be a better investment. Additionally, used cars are less expensive to register and sometimes cost less to insure. Just remember to purchase used cars from reputable dealers and if possible, take it to a mechanic you trust for inspection.
  3. Safety Ratings and Reliability
    Research what types of cars having good safety ratings, and do not have a reputation for breaking down. Keep in mind the cost for parts may be more expensive for certain types of cars, so the overall cost of ownership could end up being more expensive in the long run.

Reference: Harris Interactive Report

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