8 Ways to Choose The Right Car Brand for You
A lot of people seem to have a favorite brand of car. This tends to become the only kind of car they drive, and it makes the decision easy when it’s time to get a new vehicle. When you go car shopping, what make do you typically choose?
The easiest way to decide on a car when shopping is to choose a brand that you like. With this mindset, car purchasers become much less concerned about getting a great deal on a vehicle (which is difficult to do on such a large purchase) and more concerned about what makes them comfortable and happy. Here are just a few of the reasons why car buyers pick a favorite car brand and stick with it.
- Reliability: People trust certain car brands to get them places more than others.
- Style: Perhaps the biggest reason people choose a car brand is because of the way it looks. Some cars are more attractive to drivers than others, and if a certain style speaks to them, they’re more likely to choose that brand.
- Interior Comfort: Some makes feature an all-leather interior while others choose to use nylon. The way the seats move, the number of cup holders, and even the distance from the door can have a strong influence a person’s favorite car variety.
- Workmanship: Nowadays, the quality of workmanship is very important to car buyers. Some people like a certain layout for the engine and carriage. Others care where the car was made, whether that was domestic or overseas. Either way, this criteria is highly useful for narrowing your options.
- Technological Advancement: Right now, the leaders in car technology include Audi, Mercedes, BMW, and Ford. Those who care a great deal about the tech inside their cars usually go with one of these manufacturers.
- Safety: Some brands are considered much safer than others. For example, Subarus have been on top for safety ratings for the last few years, which is a prominent reason that Subarus have such a large following today.
Each of the above qualities will likely impact your car-purchasing decision, but you’ll need to really put things into context to arrive at the right conclusion. Here are a few tips to consider before choosing your favorite car brand.
1. Consider Your Needs
What purpose will your car fulfill? Think about your current situation including family size, geographical surroundings, gas mileage, personal style, distance to work, daily travel distance and anything else that’s important to your lifestyle.
For example, if you live in an area with a lot of snow, you’ll want to choose a brand with high safety ratings and options for all-wheel drive. If you’re a glutton for travel or have a long commute, you’ll want a car that gets great gas mileage and can handle a great deal of wear and tear.
2. Check Finances
A major element of choosing a car brand revolves around what you can afford. You may love BMW’s, but that’s irrelevant if you can’t afford them. If money is tight, choose a car brand with all the features and styles you love, but a price you can afford. Then, you can narrow your search from there.
3. Research and Compare
Once you’ve narrowed your favorite brands down to a few candidates, take some time to research and compare. Make a list of the most important features, and do your research on each. Choosing a car brand can be hard work, but when you make an investment of such magnitude, you can never do too much research to be prepared for your purchase.
4. Talk With a Trusted Mechanic
Ask your mechanic a few questions about the problems they see most often with certain car makes. If you don’t have a trusted mechanic, ask someone who’s been in business for several years. Ask them which brand of cars they see most often when making repairs, so you know which cars to avoid.
When you’ve narrowed your options down to just a few, discuss the maintenance associated with each with your mechanic. Ask about the number of miles they usually last, how often they need oil changes, what their major repair hurdles are, and how much maintenance they anticipate doing with each brand. This should give you a good idea of which cars will be the biggest money pits for you.
5. Consider Mileage
Even though gas and diesel prices are finally dropping, everyone wants to save money on fuel. It’s just a matter of deciding where it falls on your list of priorities. If gas mileage is a major factor for you, you’ll want to consider cars with great gas mileage, like Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen and Nissan.
6. Look at Longevity
Are you the kind of person that runs your cars into the ground? Or do you get bored with your car after a few years and look for a replacement? If you fall into the latter category, longevity isn’t a big issue for you. Just trade it in after a few years for something you like better.
If you want to avoid another car purchase for several years, longevity should be a high priority. Look for brands that will run into the 200,000 mile range without major issues and are dependable. Generally, Subarus, Acuras, Hondas and Toyotas have a good track record when it comes to longevity and durability.
7. Consider the Cost of Ownership
What will it cost for you to actually own the car? This question encompasses a number of details regarding maintenance and upkeep. For example, some brands recommend an oil change every two months while some can wait until three months.
You’ll want to take a peek the owner’s manual to get an idea of the timeline for routine maintenance and upkeep. Begin by looking at the kind of fuel the vehicle needs. Some cars can handle regular unleaded gasoline while some require the expensive, cream of the crop gasoline.
It will also say how long your car can usually go before it needs new brakes, head gaskets, and other major fixes.
8. Go for a Test Drive
Ultimately, you can do a lot of research, but you’ll need to be in the car to know if you like it or not. You can head to any dealership for zero-commitment test-drives on a variety of brands. If your decision process becomes lengthy, hop between a few different dealers in order to avoid monopolizing a single dealer’s time.
Simplify the Research
Thanks to our network of timely, informative articles on everything vehicle related, car research just got much easier. You’ll likely spend a lot of time researching various car brands and the insurance that goes with each, and we can help. Fortunately, our car-buying guide can help you determine the criteria that are important to you and show you a vehicle that works within your budget.