As your family grows, you may need to purchase a new vehicle to accommodate extra car seats or toddler tantrums. However, there are many features you need to consider before buying a car. From car insurance to safety concerns, you will have to make multiple decisions. To help make the planning process easier, think about the following car tips.
New Car Safety Concerns
Before buying a new car, you have to consider its safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA’s vehicle comparison tool can help you figure out if a vehicle is safe. The organization uses a five-star rating system and provides detailed reports. You can check for recall information and see a list of included safety features such as air bags, seat belts or tire pressure monitoring.
Cars that receive one star from the NHTSA may not be the best option for families. You want to look for vehicles with five stars. This means the NHTSA has found the car safe in a front crash scenario, side barrier crash test, side pole crash test and rollover resistance test. Check if your new car will have features such as a backup camera, automatic emergency braking system, forward collision warning system, lane assist technology and blind spot detection.
Car Insurance Changes
If you have never owned a new car, you may be used to paying lower insurance rates for an older vehicle. Getting a new car does not automatically mean that your insurance will go up, but the possibility exists. Even if the rate stays close to the same amount, a new purchase is the perfect time to shop around and compare companies. You may want to use online tools to compare car insurance quotes online to make sure you are getting the best deal for a new vehicle that is big enough for your family.
Insurance companies use crash test results and theft data to determine the formula for payments. Your driving history, record and other profile aspects also affect how much you pay per month. In general, a new car that costs more money to buy will also have a higher insurance cost. Another thing to consider is the cost of repairs. If you have an expensive vehicle with costly parts, your insurance rate will also be higher.
Price Estimates and Vehicle History
You want to enter a dealership prepared and ready to buy a vehicle you can afford. This means doing your research before setting foot on any lot. First, consider asking friends, family and other moms about the cars they love to drive. Another mom can tell you more than a sticker on a car window. Second, start investigating potential vehicles online by comparing them. You can use the official Kelley Blue Book online to see photos, prices, mileage ratings and other information.
Even if you think you are getting a brand new car, it does not hurt to ask for or pay for a CarFax vehicle history report. You will be able to see the car’s service history, registration history, state owned and open recall history. All of these pieces of data are useful for determining if the vehicle is worth buying.
Think About Financing
Many moms worry about paying their bills, so adding a new car payment every month to the mix can be a difficult decision. However, planning ahead and thinking about financing can help. First, find out your credit score and report. You can order it for free from the three main credit companies once a year. After you get your score and report, check it to make sure it is accurate. Keep in mind that having a higher credit score means you will qualify for better loan requirements and a lower interest rate.
Even if your credit score is average or worse, you can still get a car loan. You may want to get preapproved for a car loan from your bank. Talk to your banker about taking care of this before car shopping. You can also apply for some loans online ahead of time.
Loans and leases are still the most popular ways to pay for a vehicle. If you plan to keep the car for a long time, buying instead of leasing may be a better option. Keep in mind that the length of the loan can affect your monthly payments. Although it may be tempting to pick a longer loan with smaller monthly payments, you will end up paying more over time.
Buying a new car can be a fun and challenging time for moms. From figuring out financing to comparing car insurance rates, there are steps you can take to plan ahead and make the process easier. You want to be completely prepared before walking into a dealership and choosing the car you want.