It doesn’t matter if you are buying a brand new car or a used car; the car buying experience can be an intimidating experience, especially for a first-time buyer.

When you visit the car dealership, you will not only find a wide range of car choices, you may also come across an intense salesperson that will pressure you into making an immediate decision. It is therefore important that you are armed with enough information about the car you want to buy, know exactly how much you can afford, and understand how to spot bad deals (particularly with used cars). Also, be prepared to negotiate before going car shopping.

To help make your next car shopping experience seamless and pleasant, we have put together this short guide of important factors to consider when buying a car.

Your financial situation
When making plans to buy a car, it is important that you take a good look at your financial situation so that you don’t end up in debt because you bought a car. You should know what the price of the car you are interested in is, and how much you can afford to pay for it.

Where you don’t have enough financial resources to buy a car outrightly, you can consider a short or long lease plan. However, this is not always the best idea and will cost you more in the long run. When you lease a car, you will always be making payments on the car, and this includes interest, fees, and the cost of the car itself. The same thing applies to car financing.

If you are looking at getting a loan or a car financing deal, it will also depend on what you have in your account. If you are unable to come up with the initial deposit or don’t have a steady source of income that will guarantee the monthly repayments, your loan or financial application will not be approved. Your credit history will also play a huge role in the lender's decision making.

If you cannot afford to buy a brand new car at the moment, you may be able to get a good used car that suits your budget. But be sure to have a professional look the car over before buying, so that you don’t get tied to a car that will cost you a lot in repairs..

Your unique lifestyle
As already established, it can be difficult deciding the type of car to buy out of the hundreds of options available. In fact, if you watched the 2019 Super Bowl, you probably saw a number of new ones in the Super Bowl car commercials. But the decision is easier when you buy a car tailored to suit your lifestyle. For example, if you are married and have a family or intend to start one, you will well of with a vehicle that is bigger and has more safety features, preferably a minivan or an SUV.

To avoid making a mistake, you should make a list of special features you need in a car, including seating and storage capacity, vehicle body size and height, towing facility, and level of fuel efficiency.

You should also consider the entertainment system that suits your present situation, the navigation system, and enhanced safety features.

You also want to look at engine speed and performance, as this will determine fuel consumption. If you don’t have a steady source of income, you may want to consider a four cylinder car instead of the gas-guzzling6 or V8 models.

You should also consider if your immediate future holds any lifestyle changes and take account of these future changes in your car buying plans.

Diesel, Petrol, or Electric?
The prevalence of electric cars means that today’s’ car buyers have a wide range of options to choose from. You can choose to buy a petrol-powered, diesel-powered or an electric vehicle.

Generally speaking, petrol cars are more popular than diesel-powered cars because they are cheaper to buy and easy to maintain. But on the flip side, diesel-powered cars are stronger and can run for longer on the same amount of fuel, but diesel parts are more expensive to buy and thus cost more in maintenance.

You can also choose to buy either a hybrid or a fully electric car. These cars are smart, eco-friendly and convenient. But you have to be sure of the availability of charging stations in your city, otherwise recharging your car might be a problem when on a long trip.

Wrapping up
As you can see, buying a car is not rocket science. You just need to know exactly what you want, do your research, and shop around for the best deals. Where you are buying a used car, it is important that you go with a trained and honest mechanic who will help you determine if the car is in good enough shape. If your gut tells you not to buy the car, never feel pressured to do so. It is better to go back home, ruminate, and come back better prepared than to make a car deal that you will end up regretting.