5 Things to Consider Before Buying Your Next Car

2021 Ford Bronco
via Ford

Cars are a luxury for some but a necessity for others. Not everyone lives somewhere with abundant public transportation, which makes owning a reliable vehicle non-negotiable. Your car gets you from work and home each day, but it also holds a lot of memories and carries a lot of sentimental value, too. Getting a new vehicle could feel bittersweet, but you may also be more than ready to upgrade your ride. From more space to more miles for your bucks, here are five things to consider that will help you choose the best car for you.

Think About Long-term Costs

You may be able to afford a down payment, but do you have enough money to maintain a certain vehicle in the long run? Gas, maintenance, possible repairs and auto insurance must also be taken into account. You can potentially save more by lowering your monthly payments, which is done by paying more upfront at the dealership. To do this, you could save for longer or sell other investments, like your life insurance policy. If you have at least $100,000 cash value, you can generally find someone to buy your life insurance. If you’re interested in learning more, you can read all about the life settlement process in this guide.

Consider Your Life Goals

It’s a good idea to wait at least three years before trading a new car in, but a lot can happen in that time. It’s important to choose a model that can grow with you. If you’re single and don’t have any plans to start a family, then that sports car you’ve been eyeing could be perfect. But what if you have a baby, get a dog or want to go on a cross-country road trip? Make sure you consider the steps for choosing a car and think about what’s practical for your life for at least the next five years before you buy a vehicle.

Consider the Value Later

The minute you buy a car, its value starts to drop, and it continues to fall over time. This is called depreciation. To get a better idea of how much a vehicle is worth and how much it can sell for in the future, you can look up its model in the Kelley Blue Book. If you plan to trade your car in or resell it down the line, it’s important to make sure what you’ll pay to own it is worth the cost.

Compare Insurance Quotes

You can get a great deal on auto insurance just by comparing a few free quotes from different providers. Even if you find your current premium fair, that could change if you upgrade to a newer vehicle. Depending on the gap in value between your current car and new one, the leap in premium costs could be too much to reasonably afford. To make the price more manageable, you can consider merging your auto coverage with other insurance policies for a discount.

Make Sure Your Credit Score Is Decent

Before you get approved to buy a vehicle, a dealership will run a credit check. If your score is too low, you may not be approved. To avoid worsening a score that’s already low from a hard pull, get your free credit reports ahead of time. You may decide to wait a few months and improve your standing before investing in your new car.