Walk into any car dealership these days and you will be immediately approached by one of the dealership's sales personnel. You may find yourself being bombarded with too much data all at the same time - he may give you information on the car's torque, power to weight ratio, etc. Of course, what you are really trying to do is get the best possible deal when you buy a car. With today's fuel prices and the general state of the world's economy, more and more people are turning to more practical means when buying things. That being said, how does one choose a truly affordable car?
One thing you must bear in mind when buying a car is that you are looking for more bang for your buck. If you are talking to a car salesman, make sure that you tell him this right off the bat. You can also opt to give him your budget for buying a car - this will save you time and prevent him from showing you cars that you are not really interested in or financially capable of buying. Of course, later on in the transaction, the salesman will try to offer you a few extras for your car - fog lights, a better speaker system for your stereo, and upholstery options are some examples. Remember, you want to make the practical choice. Don't be swayed by his offers (it is, after all, his job to convince you that you need more than you really do) and stick to the plan. You are looking for an affordable, no-frills car - nothing more, nothing less.
If you are on a tight budget, or if you have already decided much is the maximum amount that you will spend on a car, it may be a good idea to check out reputable used car lots. In establishments such as these, the amount of money that you would have paid for a brand new car can get you a higher model car at the same price, but the unit has been previously owned. Many people have apprehensions about this, due to the stigma associated with used car dealerships and their salesmen.
If you know a few things about cars, and are familiar with the basics and the general condition that the parts should be in, feel free to take a look under the hood and at the chassis.
- Take the car out for a test drive so you can get a feel for the car.
- Try to notice if there are any kinks in the steering or suspension.
- Check the interior to see if everything is in order as well.
- Checking the car's mileage is also one of the most important things that you should do at this point.
If you do not have any idea as to what a decent second-hand car should look and feel like, you might want to consider taking a mechanic along, someone you know and trust who can be objective about the state of the second-hand car you are thinking of buying. If you don't know any mechanic in your area, bring a friend along who can tell you what's right and what's wrong with the car's parts. Remember, you need to make a smart purchasing decision - the whole point of deciding to buy an affordable car is so that it can get you from point a to point b. There's no need to be flashy at this point - you want a decent car, without the usual bells and whistles.