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How to Shop for a Car - Depending on Your Needs, Age and Family

Krima is a multi-skilled journalist and writer with extensive print, broadcast, online, and digital experience.


When buying a car, it is impertinent to think unilaterally. You have to consider your family, your needs, their needs, and even the age of you and your family. Here is how you shop for a car cleverly, whilst taking into account all the relevant factors needed to make a balanced decision.

Buy a Car That Suits Your Profession

An attorney turning up to a meeting in a potato truck is not going to reflect well on the attorney, similarly if a charity supervisor turns up to work in a new Ferrari it is not going to look good. You do not have to conform to stereotypes, such as an accountant having a boring and brown car; you just have to consider how your car will be viewed by those you work with.

Spend More On One Car Over Buying Two

There are many families that buy two cars over just one, but many times there is still one car sat in the drive whilst the other is used predominantly more. Do not forget that two cars mean two maintenance schedules, two insurance payments, and two fuel bills. Instead of buying two cars, you should spend your money on a single, reliable and fuel-efficient car, and then work out a Rota so that the car is shared when needed. It takes a little compromise, but it will save you money in the long-run.

Buying a New Car Is Only Practical In Some Situations

Do not instantly assume that buying a new car is the best option for you or your family. A new car loses up to 30% of its value the second you drive it off the lot. Instead, buy a second-hand car that has only been running for a year and you will get a much better deal.

On the other hand, there are times when a new car may be more practical. This is where you resolve to take care of the car and keep it as long as you can. If you take care of the car from the very beginning, then you can extend its life up to three times the amount it typically lasts. If you are planning to keep your car and consider it a long-term investment, then buying a new car may be the way to go.

A Small Loan Is Often Better Than Finance

This is a tricky bit of advice because both car finance and small loans have their pros and cons. Remember that lending money is going to cost you more in the long-run than saving the money up is. But, on the other hand, buying a good car with borrowed money is better than spending a smaller amount of saved money on a car that needs frequent repairs. Here is a list of the pros and cons of car finance and small loans.

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Small Loans

  • · Pro - Cheaper APR rates
  • · Pro - You can borrow extra to fix up the car
  • · Con - They are harder to get than finance


  • · Pro - It is easier to get than a small loan
  • · Pro - A car company may run a soft search that won’t affect your credit rating
  • · Con - They have more expensive APRs than small loans

Shopping on Price Is Like Picking a Lover Based on Shoe Size

If you base your decision on price alone, then you are always going to end up with an unreliable car. People do not sell reliable and safe cars at low prices because, “They don’t have to!” Consider the model of the car, how many years it should have left to run, the current damage, how much work needs doing on it, how many miles it has done, and the current wear and tear on the car. Consider how suitable it is for your family at this present time.

If you want a lower price, then find a few cars that you like and negotiate with all the dealers/sellers until you get the best price for you. Remember that the more you want a car, then the more the dealer/seller has an advantage over you. If you shop around and find several cars you like, then the dealer/seller of each one is at a disadvantage when negotiating.

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