How do you find the car that will exactly suit your needs for years to come? It just takes a little research and planning. Let Lane Auto Group help you find the right car.
If you have any questions along the way, please reach out to the our team for free assistance. We can also pair you with an Auto Consultant who can help you wherever you are in the shopping process. This service also is free from Lane Auto Group. Let's get started.
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 about what you need — not just now, 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 off road conditions?
- 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?
2. Set Your Budget
Unless you're paying cash for your car, you'll need to think about financing your purchase or lease. How much can you really afford to allocate toward a car payment each month? The general rule is no more than 20 percent of your monthly take-home pay.
3. Consider Other Cars in the Class
Do you have your mind (or heart) set on a specific car? Many shoppers do. But in today's ever-changing marketplace, there are always new cars hitting the showrooms, and one that you've never even considered could be right for you. Lane Auto Group lets you easily research and compare similar cars to find the one that truly fits you best.
4. Find Cars for Sale
In the past, you had to visit dealerships in person to see inventory and find out if the cars had the options you wanted. Now, using the Auto Concierge by Lane Auto Group you can quickly cover more ground and save money. Once you have an idea of what car you want, you can easily see its availability.
5. Set Up a Test- Drive
Now that you've found a car that seems like it might be a good fit for you, call or email us at Lane Auto Group to schedule a day and time for a test-drive.
6. What to Look for in a Test-Drive
A car might seem to have all the features you want, but the true test takes place when you are in the driver seat. You should test drive the car the way you would drive it during your everyday life.
If you commute, drive the car in both stop-and-go traffic and at highway speeds. If you trek to the mountains, find some steep hills to climb. Drive over bumps, take tight corners and test the brakes in a safe location. Get in and out of the car several times and be sure to sit in the backseat, especially if you plan on carrying passengers. Check out the cargo space. If you plan on using children's car seats, bring those along to test for fit and ease of installation.
While you are evaluating the car, don't be distracted. Take your time looking everything over. A good salesperson will respect your need to experience the car and will let you focus on the driving experience. Turn off music so you can listen to the sound of the engine. You can evaluate the sound system when you return to the dealership. If the conversation does turn to questions about whether you'd like to talk about purchasing or leasing, you can say that you're still in the test-drive stage.
7. Pick Your Car
After test-driving several cars, the choice should be clear. If it isn't, sleep on it. In the morning, you might have your answer. If not, you might need to take a few steps back and drive more cars.
While making the right decision is important, it's also good to realize that there isn't one perfect answer. Today's cars are safer than ever before. They get better gas mileage. They have amenities at lower costs than in the past. In short, there could be several good vehicle choices and the final decision is really a matter of individual taste.