The American automobile market is flooded with a variety of cars to suit every budget, design specification and features. For many, who have saved for a long time to buy a car, an affordable small car is possibly all that they are looking for. While surely the cost factor is of the essence, there are several other factors that you must consider before you make your choice of affordable small car.
First of all, be very clear about your budget. How much of your expenditure on buying a car comes from your savings, and/or how much of a loan are you seeking?
Good financial planning suggests that at the most, you plan to allocate no more than 20% of your monthly expense budget towards automobile maintenance. This means that in choosing a car, you also take stock of its recurring monthly maintenance costs, apart from fuel efficiency.
Whether you buy directly from the car manufacturer or the dealer, it is important to be aware of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price and the dealer’s actual retail price.
It is also important to plan and arrange for the financing well in advance, whether you are spending your own savings directly or getting a loan.
Do a thorough research of all available cars online using the manufacturer’s site and also reviews posted by other users. Often, the dealer you are interacting may not have the specific model or color that you have shortlisted, so it helps to talk directly to the dealership in advance too.
Remember that for the car salesperson, the bottom line is the commission received per sale. On no account must you feel pressured into hurrying up your decision.
In making a decision to go to a specific dealership, do also ensure that you find out about and discuss the quality, consistency and the terms of the after sale service. There is no point in investing so much money in being the car you love if you are not assured of a hassle free post-sales service.
Don’t hesitate to ask for one or even more test drives for only this will give you a sense of whether this is the affordable small car that suits all your requirements.
Also think about how long you intend keeping the car, for this can impact which features of the car you are prioritizing. Also, prioritize fuel economy based on your annual mileage and how much you actually drive every day.
Over and above everything that will make your experience of buying and owning a car a smooth one, is your relationship with the car dealer. In any given city there are many dealerships selling the exact same cars. What determines your choice is how the dealership resonates with you, especially in terms of the trust.