How do you find the car that will exactly suit your needs for years to come? It just takes a little research and planning. The following steps will help you select, price, locate and test-drive the vehicle that is best for you. Then you can decide whether you want to buy a new car, lease a new car or buy a used car. If you want a hand, you can be paired with an Edmunds car-buying expert who can assist you, no matter where you are in the car-search process. This service is free.
For a quick overview of how to find your perfect car, watch this short video.
Step 1. Assess Your Needs
As much as you might like to dream about what you want in a car, it's best to think more practically about your needs — not just at present, but in the future, too. Functionality should trump flash. Here are some practical considerations to keep in mind:
- How many passengers do you need to carry?
- What type of driving do you do: highway, surface streets, off-road?
- Will you drive in ice and snow?
- Do you have a long commute and, because of that, is fuel economy important to you?
- Do you need all-wheel drive?
- What safety features are important to you?
- Do you need a lot of cargo capacity?
- Will you be using children's car seats?
- Will you be doing any towing?
- How much garage or parking space do you have?
Next: Set Your Budget
To find a dealership that knows how to treat shoppers right, please visit Edmunds.com's Dealer Ratings and Reviews.