It’s smart to be informed before making any large purchase, including your vehicle.
According to the US Census Bureau, the average commute time is 26.9 minutes for the daily driver. As if that’s not stressful being stuck that long in a car you hate is sure to be a trigger. Although you can’t do anything about the traffic, you can improve your life in a better car.
Picking the best commuter car can be difficult when you’re not quite sure what you’re doing. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’re looking for a second vehicle, there are a few things you should consider first. Keep reading to learn 10 tips for finding the best commuter car.
Think About What You Want
Finding yourself daydreaming about your future car can be a good thing. At least when you’re ready to make that purchase. Some things you may think about now are:
- Satellite Radio
- Panoramic Sunroof
- Tinted Windows
This period is your time to really enjoy the possibilities. You’ve been given permission to get lost in your daydream.
Cross Reference Your Wants With Your Needs
Now that you’ve decided what you want, it’s time to figure out what you actually need. Unlike with your first list, you’ll need to set realistic expectations. Although this isn’t as fun as daydreaming, you could consider it more useful.
Start with your wishlist and move forward from there. Consider your commute distance to decide how important your mpg is. It’ll also be important to consider the weather where you live and work.
Decide On Used, New, or To Lease
One of the most important things you’ll need to decide on is to buy used, new, or lease. Buying new means that you don’t have to worry about any underlying problems or damages caused by previous owners. Yes, buying new has its perks, but that’s only if it fits your budget.
Buying used doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There are plenty of cars that you can buy used and enjoy for years to come. The trick is to pay attention during your test drive for any problems, ask direct questions, and browse reputable sites for used cars.
A lease means you can even consider the hottest 2019 Chevrolet models.
Set Your Budget
This may not be your favorite part, but setting your budget is crucial. If you’re obtaining a loan, you’ll need to figure out how much you can afford as a down payment and in future car payments. Remember to consider taxes, fees, and interest.
If you can, paying in-full at the time of purchase will provide you with the most perks. No car payments will mean more money every month for other bills and saving. It also means no interest rate or waiting around for a loan to be approved.
Find Cars That Match
Browsing for cars online and in-person have their own risks and rewards. Online gives you the opportunity to search hundreds of cars without ever having to leave. A good choice is to stick to reputable sites for good commuter cars.
Searching in-person will provide you with the chance to make a same-day purchase without the risk. If you’re serious about buying a new car soon, this is the fastest way to make that happen. The only limitation is there will be fewer options in comparison to online.
Schedule a Test Drive Per Choice
Once you’ve found the best commuter car that matches what you’re looking for, it’s time to schedule your test drive. Have the listing details handy when you call the seller for ease of access. This is also a great time to ask those lingering questions you have.
After ensuring the vehicle you’re looking at is still available, you can find out how many previous owners and mpg. If you’re purchasing old and used, ask about any pending repairs you’ll need to expect. If you’re considering leasing, double-check that your choice qualifies.
Know What to Look for During Test Drive
Before you begin driving, mentally note the visible damage you see. This could include scratches, dents, and peeling tints. However, not all damage is visible.
When you begin your test drive, it’s best to keep the radio silent so you can listen to the car. Squeaky brakes, screeching belt, or a rattling sound are all signs of damage. This is also a great time to try out the blinkers, lights, and watch for a check engine light.
Consider Your Insurance Payments Budget
You’re going to need insurance to drive. Before you settle on your choice, make sure you can afford those payments too. You don’t want to put a down payment down only to learn that you can’t actually afford the long-term commitment.
There are plenty of sites that’ll give you an estimate within fifteen minutes. Only buy if the information matches what you’re willing and able to pay.
Choose the Best Commuter Car
Now that you’ve made it this far, it’s time to pick the best commuter car for you. Review your wishlist of wants and needs. Then, cross-reference with what you learned from your test drive.
Your insurance, budget, and lists are everything you’ll need to narrow down your search to the right pick. Once you’ve done that, you can move forward to the next step.
Get Approved Fast
If you’re making a payment-in-full, the only thing you need to consider is negotiating. Consider the repairs and other deals to get a price you’re willing to pay. You’d be surprised how many sellers will come down.
If you’re leasing or getting a loan, apply ahead of time. Certain sellers have in-house financing and will loan to anyone. Others, you’ll want to reduce the wait time by coming prepared.
Now that you’ve found the best commuter car for you, it’s time to get cruising. Don’t waste another day stuck in traffic in a car you’ve outgrown. For more tips and advice for your vehicle purchase, keep reading our blog.