Your dream car. That’s a simple, yet loaded statement. A dream car can mean very different things to many people. When the question “what’s your dream car?” is posed, that person probably wants to know what kind of car you would buy if money wasn’t an issue. It’s fun to dream and fantasize about that red Ferrari, but money is usually a deciding factor when it comes to buying a car. While most people think they may never be able to afford their dream car, shifting your perspective on that dream can make a major difference. If you start thinking about cars in terms of what would be the most valuable to you in your current situation, it’s almost certain you can turn that dream car fantasy into a reality.
Define Your Needs and Think Critically
It’s easy to get caught up and overwhelmed when buying a new car. With so many decisions, choices, and negotiations, key factors can be missed or overlooked. This purchase is significant so it should not be considered lightly – and not just from a budget standpoint. It’s important to know what you need in a car before diving into your search. How big is your family? Or do you live alone? Do you enjoy road trips or driving your friends around? Questions like these will reveal the size, seat requirements, and vehicle type best suited for your current situation.
After you’ve gone through that list, try asking yourself about your current location. Where do you live? How much do you drive? Where is your work located? The answer to these will help determine your gas needs. People in big cities can get away with driving less when they have public transportation as a backup. They’re more likely to get away with lower miles to the gallon while people in the suburbs often solely rely on their car to get around. These people will likely want a more efficient car for daily use, so it’s critical to assess how your living situation will affect your purchase.
What are your hobbies? What kind of vacations do you take? Ask yourself these to determine what features you absolutely can’t live without in a car. If you like activities like surfing, camping, skiing, or snowboarding, make sure to plan for that. Features like extra room, removable seats, and 4 wheel drive will be necessary to look for once you start shopping. But don’t stop there, try thinking about a typical week in your life. Who will be riding in the car most? Pets? Aging parents? Clientele? Grandparents won’t be able to climb up into a pick-up truck, while important clients don’t want to be driven around in a squished sedan. In order to find a dream car, all aspects of your life should be considered first.
Search Far and Do Your Research
Finding your dream car is a marathon, not a sprint. Once your desired vehicle type and features are determined on paper, where will you look? Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to venture a little farther from home to find a good deal. Search for new and used cars in neighboring areas, not just the closest dealership to your house. If someone in Jacksonville, Florida, wants a new Audi, it’s a good idea that they search for new Audi cars for sale in Orlando and all other cities in between. It will yield a larger market and targeting larger cities leads to an increased population. More people means more cars, and also a better chance for a good deal. A two hour drive means nothing when there is the potential to save on an older car with low mileage that will give you decades of memories.
Before signing any paperwork, consider your current budget and the future of your income. Do you have a steady job? Do you expect a raise soon? Be real. Consider all variable factors when choosing a make and model. This includes upfront costs, interest rates, gas mileage, insurance rates and repair costs. There’s a large potential to underestimate maintenance and insurance costs, especially if you’re in the luxury car market. It’s easy to see the price of a practical new car and a used luxury car and think they’re comparable. However, there is so much more to consider than the principal price tag. Be certain your income can sustain the price of the upfront, monthly, and potential service costs.
Finding your dream car won’t happen overnight, but it is attainable with the right precautions. And remember, a dream car that doesn’t fit your lifestyle or budget will quickly turn into a nightmare. Your dream car should be something you worked hard to find and that delivers on all the factors you need to be happy – that way you can just put on cruise control and enjoy the view.