Choices! Let’s help you shortlist your new car

Looking for the one whether it be in love or for your first car can be a lengthy and sometimes complicated process. We won’t be able to help you in the love department, but we can help you figure out which vehicle to buy as your perfect first car. By this point in time, you may have already saved up some money and are ready to enter the world of car ownership. While it may seem easy to just choose the cheapest vehicle, or even the most luxurious, there are many things to consider before putting your hard-earned cash into your automobile.

With so many models on the market and new designs being introduced all the time, it’s hard to know where to start when choosing a car. It’s so confusing that many people just take recommendations from friends or buy something that catches their eye with sleek design or clever advertising. There’s a much better way to pick the right car, an approach that also allows room for some fun.

car body types

As there are many options available to you, you will first need to figure out what your expectations and needs will be for the vehicle. How often do you go off-roading or need to tow heavy loads? If you try to get something that does everything, you’ll probably be stuck and without a choice in mind. When picking a car, start by understanding whether you need a car. If so, move on to narrowing down what kind you need. If you have a big family and need room for five passengers, your choice could be an MPV or SUV. If you’re single and like to go off-roading on the weekend, it’ll be obvious you need a four-wheel-drive vehicle. If you want a car that will fulfill many duties, in that case, prioritize its roles in your daily life, then decide from there.


Not everyone is a millionaire and can just casually buy a car every other week, unless you have saved up enough money, you will probably need to take a car loan. It is highly recommended that when you do have to take out a loan, you will need to be on top of your monthly expenses so that you can also pay for your car as well. There are also other things to budget and consider, such as insurance, fuel, maintenance, repairs, registration—to 20% or less of your monthly take-home pay. With that said, it's highly recommended that you use a car loan calculator to find out what purchase price will provide a monthly payment that comfortably fits into your budget. Avoid the temptation to stretch the loan just to buy a more expensive car.

car comparison

Now that you have set your budget, you already probably have a model you want to buy in mind. Before you pull the trigger and buy, we highly recommend that you look at competing models.  The market is so crowded these days, it’s easy to overlook a model that might better suit your needs than your initial top pick. Don’t rush this part of the process, because once you get a new car, you’ll have to live with it for years. Build a target list of five cars to research by reading reviews from automotive experts and owners. If you have trouble comparing competing cars, you can use the AutoDeal Comparison Tool, which presents features and specs in an easy-to-view table for side-by-side comparison. Based on your research, narrow the field to three cars.

car test drive

Once you have done your research, compared other models, and selected the one that best suits your needs, it's now time to do a test drive. While a car’s specifications on paper may look enticing, you have to also consider how the vehicle drives. Remember that if you do decide to buy that model, it will likely be with you for at least three years or even longer. This is why going on a test drive is so important as it can let you test out the car without having to commit to it just yet.

Nothing beats sitting and driving the car you’re aiming to buy—first-hand experience is the best experience. Here’s an easy way to get the job done: Set aside a morning, preferably on a weekday, when showrooms are less busy, and call a dealership. Tell them you want to try out a specific model, but are still debating whether to get it. Call all your desired dealerships and drive your target cars back-to-back so all your impressions are fresh in your mind.

buying a car

If you don’t like the car after you have given it a test drive, you still have the option of looking for a new candidate. As previously mentioned there are a plethora of options available in the Philippines with each brand seeking to fulfill a specific niche. Chances are you will find another viable candidate that best fits you. Remember that you need to be realistic when it comes to your vehicle choices. What you may want, may not be in your financial capability to sustain.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your emotions and intuition will play a big part in your choice. But don’t let your feelings dictate that. Cover the practical bases first, and then open the door to the fun factor. Then you’ll have a car that you enjoy and that serves your needs.

When you’ve made your choice, you’re now ready to put down the money and live with your decision for the next few years. Good luck!

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