We may not want to admit it, but for most of us there’s a time when we stop traveling. Maybe you have run out of money, maybe you’re tired of living out of a backpack, or maybe you just miss routine and being close to family. Whatever it is, it usually happens to us all at some point. For me personally I found a home base as I found it too challenging to work on my business while changing location every few days. The first step when I set up base somewhere was to find an apartment to share, the second step was buying a new car.
I looked at both brand new and second hand cars and learned a lot in the process. Here are 4 things to keep in mind before buying a car:
1) A New Car Only Looks New For a Few Weeks or Months
In the end, I bought a new car. A lot of the cars down in Guatemala are previously crashed cars from the states, so not that safe. So I ended up buying a new car for mostly safety reasons as opposed to because it was shiny and new, which was good, because after a few weeks when I had put a few scratches on it, the car suddenly didn’t seem so new. I was surprised by how fast it felt like an older car, when it was still a current model. So don’t buy a car because it’s a new and shiny, because looks fade, fast!
2) Mileage Matters
Both in terms of how many miles on the car, and as well as how many miles per gallon. The truth is how far the car has gone will affect the resale value if you ever want to sell it once you’re done with it. Likewise, how far you can get per gallon will affect your pocket every single week, so make sure you make smart decisions.
3) Shop Around
It’s unlikely the first car you will see will be the best car for you. It’s also very important to go into the car buying process as informed as possible. So my suggestion is before you ever step foot in a car showroom or start viewing cars, check out Cars.com to see the prices of cars similar to what you are looking for. That way you can gauge the prices for certain cars, years, miles and features and go into the entire process smarter and more informed.
4) Get a Second Opinion
If you’re single take a valued friend or family member to look at your options. If you’re in a relationship, take your partner. Having someone else to keep you in check is really important because often buying a new car can be an emotional process and it’s easy to get wound up. When I was buying my car, I found myself adding on extra features and upping the price, and eventually I needed the support of my partner to say, “really? do you need that?” in order to stop upgrading my car. Who doesn’t want LED lights that automatically adjust to the conditions? It’s so easy to just go crazy, so definitely take that second opinion with you before you sign anything.
Buying a new car is a lot of fun, but make sure you slow down and make logical decisions so you end up with a car you will love for years to come!