Buying a new car? Ask yourself these questions first

Buying a car can be as simple as getting in touch with a dealer, having the cash on hand, and just being confident about your choice, but what if you aren’t confident about your next car? 

If you’re unsure, if it is your first time, or if you don’t know how to go about choosing a vehicle to buy, fret not. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for cars, there are a few questions that you can get out of the way and ask yourself to make sure that you arrive at the right vehicle for you. As such, let’s help you avoid buyer’s remorse. Before you buy a car, ask yourself these questions. 

Car Buying Budget

First off, make sure that you can afford the car you’re going to buy. Prepare a budget, or a plan to afford your car. Aside from paying for one with straight cash, you can also enter into a loan agreement with a bank or dealer. However, do consider that financing a car will be more expensive in the long run, so make sure that you can absorb the additional cost of financing an automobile, and make sure that you can afford the financing deal’s monthly amortization rates, and make sure that you’re aware of the total cost of the car after the financing period is finished. 

Make sure that you can afford to pay the dealer or the bank for the car that you are going to buy, and also make sure to set aside a budget for maintenance, repair, insurance (compulsory or comprehensive), and registration. There is more to a car than just the purchase price. You may be able to buy a car with the money you have, but do you have the budget to own one? Consult with your personal finances first before going through with the decision. 

Cargo Space Cars

If you are buying a car for personal enjoyment, meaning you will be the only one driving the car, then this question is relatively simple to answer, but if you are buying a car for your family, or to meet a certain need of the family, organization, or with your personal use case, then things get a little more complicated. 

For starters, you might want to ask what body style you are looking at. The truth is, the body style of a car will dictate a lot of its driving characteristics, as well as its practicality. A lot of people nowadays want an SUV or crossover, and a few others want a pickup truck, while a few others want a sedan. Determining your needs will help you figure out what you really need. 

Family Car

So do you need ample cargo space? Do you need seven seats or will five do? Do you need four doors and a trunk or five doors and a large rear hatch? Do you need ground clearance? Or perhaps, do you need a bed and towing capabilities? These are the things that you must ask yourself, and that you must come to terms with otherwise, you might end up compromising on your trips more often than not. 

If you need a car for carrying and hauling, then a pickup truck would be a good bet, if you need a car to haul your family, and also serve as a cargo-hauling machine, then you could consider a van, a crossover, or an SUV. If you need the car to be small, light on fuel, and compact, then perhaps a sedan or a hatchback will serve you well. There are nuances to each of the body styles, and also segments that determine the size, and believe us when we say that size does matter. 

As stated, size does matter, and the size of your car will set the tone of your ownership experience with it. First, how often do you find yourself maximizing the space in your vehicle? Will the car be used for more than just personal transportation? How much do you carry per trip? Do passengers and items need to coexist in the vehicle at the same time? 

If you’re young, single, or a light-packer, then consider a smaller car first. Chances are, first-time car buyers and first-time drivers wouldn’t be too comfortable driving a van around tight city streets and parking lots. As you get older, however, things may get more complex, and you may need a bigger vehicle to accompany you just in case you have errands, familial duties, or something similar come up on your journey. Having a big car isn’t the most efficient when it comes to your expenses, but the idea of having all that space, capability, and practicality whenever you need it is definitely worth considering. 

Be sure to check the overall dimension of the car, and see if you’re comfortable with the size. As for the interior, do consider looking at any one of our videos and checking with our reviews to see if the space is adequate enough. Also, consider your family’s size, whether it’s physical size or with regard to how many family members you have. 

If it is a family car, perhaps it would be good to consider a seven-seater or a van. If it is a personal car to be driven by solely mom or dad, or the kids at some point, then perhaps a more affordable and smaller car would be a great choice. 

Car Garage

For this, make sure to bring out the tape measure. If you have a garage, make sure to measure the amount of space in the garage to see whether or not you can accommodate your new vehicle. What a lot of Filipinos forget is that the bigger your car, the bigger your garage space or parking space needs to be in order to accommodate it without getting in the way of other people on the road. If your garage isn’t big enough, or if it won’t fit, then make sure that you secure the proper permits needed in order to park the car on the street, or in a parking lot. 

Storage is something that is often overlooked. Depending on the house, garage space is rather finite, and there are laws in place that prevent homeowners from parking their cars on the streets, whether it’s a subdivision’s rules, a condominium’s policies, or the local government’s ordinances. Depending on where you live, these rules will affect your ownership experience with the car, so it is important to consider all of these things and make sure that you get a car that will actually fit your garage for no issues at all, or secure a parking space and permit for your vehicle if you don’t have enough garage space. 

Car Dealerships

There is no one answer for which is the best brand. Each brand caters to its own niche and excels in different segments of the market. For pickup trucks with a lot of features, Ford often comes to mind with the Ranger. For fun-to-drive crossovers, sedans, and hatchbacks, Mazda is often the first brand that comes to mind. Otherwise, Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota, and others play to their strengths, and it’s important to buy the right car from the right brand. Do your research, and find out more about the car and the brand. As some of us have said, you wouldn’t buy a pair of shoes from a mattress company, would you? 

Car Maintenance

Apart from that, do a bit of research and ask around about the support that the brand gives after you take the car out for thousands of kilometers. Ask about maintenance, warranty support, parts availability, and how the brand conducts its aftersales services. It certainly helps if you already have a good relationship with a sales agent, service advisor, or manager in a dealership. There’s more to a car than just the car itself, so make sure that you’ve fostered a good relationship with the guys that’ll take care of you and your vehicle as well. 

hybrid engine

A car’s powertrain has become an important consideration as of late, and it’s not just a two-way battle anymore between gasoline and diesel. In the Philippines, we now have a wealth of powertrain options that come with their own pros and cons. 

The list of cons for hybrid and electric cars is growing shorter and shorter by the day, especially for now with the coding exemption in play until April 2030. However, electric and hybrid cars are still quite pricey compared to gasoline-only options, but there are a growing number of incentives now so there’s more reason to go for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Ask yourself if you want a gasoline-only or a diesel-only vehicle. Hybrids are there as a middle ground, but going fully electric is going to be a challenge without proper infrastructure, so make sure to consider this if you’re set on fully electric.  

Cruise Control

Features often get your attention, whether it’s safety or how much power the engine is putting down. There is no shortage of selling points in cars nowadays, and the competition is rather fierce. However, in the Philippines, getting a certain feature in a car is not as simple as asking for it to be added to the base model. In fact, the term “option” isn’t really an option here in the Philippines because you have to jump up in price to get the high-end variant if you want the latest and greatest features. 

As such, if you want all the trimmings and everything that the car has to offer, then the top-of-the-line variant is the best option. You have to ask, however, do you really need it? Engine options and transmissions aside, features are also a consideration when you purchase a car, and getting a car with everything you need and more is a way to future-proof your purchase. For how long? We cannot say, unfortunately. 

However, we find that safety features and advanced safety features are not hampered by the passage of time. Features like forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking are all timeless and future classics in our eyes, as avoiding a collision will always be a win. 

However, if your budget cannot afford a car with such features, then perhaps consider the basics. Make sure that ABS is on board, make sure that you have airbags, it certainly helps if a car has a good crash testing score, and it’s great to have stability control just in case. 

Apple CarPlay

Apart from safety, convenience features like a reverse camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more, are all things you can consider. You don’t necessarily need these features to get out on the road and drive, however, they’ve quickly become needs as smartphones and peoples’ lifestyles have adapted to the tech around them. 

Whether or not you need a feature will boil down to your lifestyle. There are still plenty of consumers out there that still use traditional phone mounts, and there are still quite a number that get their music through radio stations. What one person wants or needs, might not be the same as another, but what is also important is to be able to separate your wants and needs if you are on a budget. If you can afford the car in its best spec and you have no trouble buying it, then you can dodge this question. 

If you have answers to every question and query thrown at you, then perhaps you're ready. If your documents are ready, if your money is ready, if your family is ready, and if your home is ready, then you're ready. Buying a new car is a big deal, and if you've made it to the end of the process and answered all the questions without fail, then congratulations, get the car you've been eyeing. 

Latest Features

View More Articles

Popular Articles