How to Buy The Car of Your Dreams

Image courtesy of Joel Shlabotnik

The car of your dreams may not be as far away as it seems, at least if your dreams are at least founded somewhat in reality.  While most people might secretly lust after the most exotic Italian supercar or the most luxurious German sedan, they also have more down to earth ideas as well.  It is those down to earth alternatives that are within reach that this article means to address, and believe it or not those dreams can all be easily met by those that are willing to attain them honestly.  That path might not even be as long and as hard as you might think, here is what you need to do:

Know What You Want

Putting aside dreams of vehicles that are outside your means, start looking for a vehicle that costs no more than 80 to 120% of your household income.  The lower the vehicle cost compared to your income, the better the chances are that you will actually be able to attain your goal.  Setting realistic goals is the first step to getting what you want, and anyone that promises you something above and beyond that may be planning on selling you something.

Take a look at your needs and determine which vehicle(s) you are considering actually meet them, as well as needs that you may soon have.   An auto loan is something that is going to take years to pay off, so do not pick a vehicle that is going to be incompatible with likely or probable futures.  For example, a Mazda Miata is probably not a good pick for someone who is getting married in 5 weeks and is already thinking about children.  Sure, the other partner might have a suitable 5-seater, but life is about options and not restrictions.  Nothing burns more than making an option-limiting choice that you will end up having to pay for again and again.

Learn Everything You Can About What You Want

Once you know what practical vehicle you might want and are reasonably able to afford, you need to determine what features and trim levels are appropriate.  It also pays to know which years are prone to mechanical issues and which are going to work out without issue.  This is necessary for the next step, but do not be too worried about going above and beyond what you need as it is ok to buy too much but a poor idea to spend even a penny and not have your needs met.  It may also be a good idea to cultivate a few choices at this stage to ensure that your needs are met at the best value; flexibility that increases options saves money in the end.

Know how much a vehicle costs by shopping around and checking out rates people are actually paying online.  Do not be in a hurry as this is the perfect stage to gather information.  Information is a great way to help you save money, so learn as much as you can.

Find the Perfect Car

Looking for the right vehicle to suit your needs should be easy because you should have limited yourself to only a few makes, models, years, and trim levels by now.  The problem is that your city probably does not have an abundance of exactly what you want.  The secret here is to shop online, using the flexibility and the power of the Internet to open up a nation-wide market for you.  This should make it far easier to find exactly what you are looking for without need for compromise.

Be sure to have your vehicle inspected by a real mechanic and consider shopping amongst dealers first.  Remember that there are transportation companies around that will help you move your vehicle from one state to another for prices so low that they have to be seen to be believed.

Use a Lender Suited to Your Needs

Be sure to shop for an auto loan in much the same way that you shopped for a vehicle: online and nationwide.  The power of the Internet is in its ability to connect people, even lenders and people looking to buy the right vehicle.  The amazing thing is that the lender, the new vehicle owner, and the car being purchased can all be in completely different states!

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