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. The steps here also are covered in 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.