When in the market for a new (to you) car, the options can feel overwhelming. There are a few things to consider that may help you narrow your search! From deciding which size will properly suit your lifestyle, to considering your budget and doing a little extra research of your own, there is no need to stress. After all, it will all be worth it when you take home the perfect vehicle.

Which size fits your lifestyle?

When considering the size of the vehicle, try to plan ahead for the next few years. Are you planning on starting a family soon? Do you frequently drive more than one friend around? Or maybe you want a vehicle that will hold you, and only you. Any which way, it will impact the decision you’re about to make!

If it can suit your needs, a smaller car is a solid choice. From better gas mileage and lower average prices, smaller models won’t break the bank. (They are also amazing for parallel parking and driving around tight places. Take it from a VW Beetle owner!)

If you frequently drive friends around, or have/plan to have more than two family members, it’s probably best to opt for a vehicle with more than two doors. Otherwise, two-door sedans or hatchbacks are great options for more affordable and smaller, yet spacious, vehicles.

For larger families of 4 or more, SUVs, minivans, or vans are wonderful choices. These options are also great if you frequently transport larger items like furniture, as many models feature seats that fold into a roomy floorspace. (Additionally, if you love the outdoors, consider taking one of these vehicles camping! With that much space, you could sleep comfortably in the back and skip the hassle of a tent.)

Additionally, for frequent transportation of larger or soiled items you wouldn’t want in the nice interior of your SUV, consider a pickup truck. (You’ll become extremely popular with your friends who need help moving things, too!) For hauling trailers and oversized loads, consider looking into the heavier duty models. Some pickups even include four-door options, so you can bring your loved ones along with you for the ride.

Consider your budget.

Money is one of the biggest deciding factors of purchasing a vehicle. A good rule of thumb for budgeting is that a car payment should be 15% or less of your monthly income. You want to be sure that you leave enough in the bank for rent/mortgage, food, bills, and, of course, fun!

If you’re considering a new car, really think on it. Is it necessary? There are many reasons to buy used; the main one is depreciation of value! After just three years, a new vehicle loses, on average, 50% of its worth. You can use that depreciation to your advantage, however, by purchasing a pre-owned vehicle. The price will be much lower, and you can frequently find newer models for much more affordable prices simply because they’ve been re-sold. If you need more convincing, you can check out this article by CarGurus!

Lastly, if you’re thinking long-term, consider the fuel efficiency of the car you’re purchasing. Hybrids are great options for short daily commutes, while an economy-sized 4-cylinder is likely a great option for longer daily commutes. If diesel is cheaper where you live, consider the fuel type that the vehicle takes, as well!

Finally, research, research, research!

Check out car review websites and read up on consumer reports. The individuals who have already purchased and driven the cars will be the most brutally honest!

When you know what vehicle you’re looking for, check out your local car dealerships. (Hey look, you’re already here!) You can check out the reviews on DealerRater.com to determine which sales representative may best suit your needs before you even schedule an appointment.

When you’ve done your comparison shopping, you can stop by dealerships in person to test drive the vehicles that sparked your interest and determine whether or not one of them is the right choice for you!

(We would love to help you with your car journey. Feel free to contact us at 888-272-1692 or check out our inventory to see if you find anything you like.)