Key considerations before buying a car

September 24, 2013 12:00 AM

With consumer confidence on the rise and end-of-year sales starting to emerge, many consumers are likely to start considering a new car. However, there are certain factors that buyers need to take into account to ensure they maximize on the investment, and furthermore, that the vehicle doesn't end up draining more funds than its worth due to excessive auto repair.

What inspires buyers
According to Econsultancy, a recent survey by the St Ives Group found that 34 percent of people simply want a newer car and 6 percent admit that a new model is enticing them. Marketing continues to be a strong force in persuading consumers, with 17 percent saying they were inspired by advertisements, word of mouth from friends or direct contact from a salesperson. Brian Moody, site editor, noted that many people tend to fall in love with a vehicle before purchasing it, which can impact their ability to make a practical choice.

"While we know people have emotional attachments to cars, it's important to stay focused on the fact that this is a major purchase," he explained.

Strategies for sound decisions
There are several mistakes that motorists can make during the decision-making process that might compromise their potential savings. For example, Moody noted that many consumers fail to shop around and compare prices, and advised taking as many vehicles for a test drive as possible at multiple dealerships to get the best deal. experts are adamant that buyers should start by listing out the actual needs versus the wants before going to a dealership. This is especially crucial as nearly half cite of the St Ives Group's survey respondents cited the need to save money as their main reason to think about buying a car.

A primary factor driving consumers to begin the buying process, according to the St Ives Group study, is that they are looking for a more economical car that will save them costs in the long run. asserted that drivers need to take vehicles for a test drive for at least 45 minutes, and drive it on a range of different roads and conditions. Still, Moody stressed that it's imperative to get a mechanical inspection at an auto repair franchise when considering a used car because certain problems simply may not show up during the test drive. Additionally, editors noted that a history report is a relatively inexpensive and fast way to determine if a vehicle is in line with the sellers' promises. Routine vehicle maintenance will help to sustain the life of a car, thereby increasing the value of the investment.

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