If you are excited about the idea of buying your first car, but you have no idea of cars and you are nervous about choosing one that you will not regret, at Finerio we help you in the process with a list of fundamental aspects that you have to review before making the decision.
1. Define your needs
What are you going to need the car for? How long do you plan to have it? Evaluate your lifestyle and the conditions in which you will use the car. It is not worth buying a sports car or a Jeep if you are going to use them in a city; for a city, it is more useful to buy a compact car. However, if you want the car to take a trip every now and then, then a truck with a large trunk might suit you; In addition, the truck can serve as your bed when you have no place to stay.
2. Characteristics of the car
Given your needs, you must define what do you need in your car? What aspects do you give more priority to? Compare different cars what is most important to you.
b) Automatic or standard
c) The electrical or mechanical system
d) Gasoline consumption
e) Safety: airbag and type of brakes
f) Air conditioning, stereo, computer and video
g) Maintenance costs: some models are more expensive or cheaper to maintain depending on the brand and its accessories
h) Cost of insurance: varies depending on the model and your geographic region
3. Your budget
Determine a realistic budget for the purchase of your car. Analyze your income, expenses, and savings and calculate how much money you can spend per month: first to save for the down payment and later to pay the monthly installments of a credit. Keep in mind that the real cost of a car also includes secondary expenses: insurance, maintenance, gasoline, checks, parking, etc. If you do not take these aspects into account, at the end of the month, your portfolio will suffer a lot from those expenses.
4. Check your credit history
Having a good credit history will help you get better credit (lower interest rates and more flexible monthly payments). If you do not know if you have a credit history or what it is, we recommend you read: All about the credit history that you have always wanted to know, and are you in the credit bureau?
5. Decide if you want to buy a new or used car
If you want to buy a new car, it is important that you ask yourself the reasons why you prefer it this way: perhaps because you know that it will be in perfect condition and you will have a guarantee, or because you want your car to last for many years. Your reasons are valid; however, follow the following recommendations:
Compare different prices between different brands, models and dealers
Be aware that as soon as your car leaves the agency it will be devalued by around 20% to 30%
Look for comments from other drivers regarding the model and make of the car that interests you
Used or pre-owned car?
If you opt for a used car because your budget is smaller, or because you will only use it for a short period of time, we recommend you search with private sellers through internet pages, prestigious second-hand establishments, in the classified section from newspapers or the pre-owned car section of auto agencies. It is recommended that the car you buy is between 2 and 5 years old.
In the first instance, review these aspects:
Investigate that the car has not been stolen or has been reported in an illegal act
History of the vehicle: owners it has had, use it has been given, blows, modifications and maintenance it has had
Check that the serial numbers on the engine, body, and chassis match the original serial numbers
Look for comments from other drivers, regarding the model and make of the car that interests you
Second, ask a trusted mechanic to check the condition of the vehicle and determine its condition. The important points are:
1. Mileage (it is recommended to add an average of 20,000 kilometers per year)
2. Body (the structure of the vehicle, part of the vehicle in which the passengers or cargo rest)
3. Chassis (the frame that supports the engine and body of a vehicle)
4. State of the tires (with a useful life of more than 70%)
5. Engine (that starts correctly and no strange noises are heard)
6. Brakes and clutch (that work correctly)
7. That there are no oil or fuel leaks, no loose cables
8. Gasoline consumption
9. Condition of the doors, fenders, hood, trunk
10. Paint, oxidation
11. Interiors and upholstery
12. Dashboard (that the indicators work well).
13. Car computer (in more modern cars, check that it works).
14. Seats (that can be easily adjusted)
15. Good performance of the car’s electrical system
16. That can pass the verification
Finally, test the car and check that it runs smoothly and without any strange noises. Test the brakes and different speeds. The most important thing is that you sit comfortably with the car.
6. Compare prices
In Mexico, the official website for comparing prices of new and used cars is the Blue Book. For used cars, enter the year, make, model, and condition of the car (ie, if it passes the check, if the tires are in good condition or if you need bodywork), and the page gives you the average price. In the case of new cars, it asks you to make, model, and characteristics such as body type, transmission, and air conditioning.
Having this basis, if you want a car of the year you can go to dealerships and compare the prices they offer with those of the Blue Book. It is important to mention that different dealers of the same brand as the car may have different prices. All car brands have months of the year where they make great deals. Usually, the big promotions are in late summer or early fall, when new models arrive; the reason for which the cars of the previous year usually have sales. December is also a good month to shop as dealerships usually offer discounts to meet their annual sales goals.
If you want a used car it is important to spend enough time to compare options, this is because there are common good offers since there are always people who are looking to sell their car as quickly as possible.
Remember that to the price of the car you have to add what is expected of secondary expenses per year for each car. Once you have full prices for the cars that interest you, compare which one offers you more for what you pay.
7. Be sure to carefully review all legal documents
Before making a decision, it is important that you consider the terms of the contracts. It is very important to ask for the CAT (Total Annual Cost) and ask yourself what amount you could pay per month. Read the fine print of the purchase contract well. There are many people who end up in debt, even when the car is no longer functional because they did not think well about the total cost at which their car would cost and they were carried away by emotion.
Ask dealers if you can negotiate other types of payment plans. Before closing the deal, make sure you fully understand all the conditions and terms.
If you want to buy a used car, make sure the seller is trustworthy and gives you all the papers in order.
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