When you're ready for a new car, you'll no doubt want to check fuel economy, performance and consumer reviews and, of course, whether its price will fit into your monthly budget. While these are certainly very important factors to consider, note a few other details you don't want to overlook. Research the following even before you step foot inside the dealership.
Long-term resale value
Unless you plan on driving the car until the wheels fall off, you want to note the resale value of the car. This resale value will adjust according to the age of the car, so be sure you check the estimated value for several years out, as you may wind up wanting to drive the car longer than you expected. However, you might find that the resale value is steady for the first few years after the car's manufacture but then drops tremendously after that. Resale value also differs for European cars versus American- or Japanese-made cars.
The size and actual weight of a vehicle can affect its overall performance and handling, depending on your average driving. If you drive on the freeway to commute to work, an oversized and heavy vehicle may mean more resistance and drag, so your fuel economy is lower than expected.
On the other hand, a lightweight, sporty vehicle may not be the best for sandy roads or snowy conditions, where added vehicle weight and a wider vehicle body would give you more traction and control. Consider the size of a vehicle according to the standard driving conditions and then adjust your choice accordingly. Opt for a lightweight passenger truck if you need the space in the back bed for your business but often drive in the city, or upgrade to a slightly larger model of a passenger sedan if your suburban home is on a dirt road and you need that added weight for traction.
Note the cost and availability of spare parts and replacement parts you might need for the vehicle, so you know the vehicle's overall long-term cost, beyond the purchase price. This can include snow tyres for winter, a replacement battery, belts for the fan and alternator, the thermostat, and other such parts that often need replacing. If you find that these parts are more expensive for a certain make and model, or may even be harder to find at an auto supply store, you might want to adjust your purchasing decision so you can easily afford to keep your car in good running order for as long as you own it.