DeAnn Owens
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3 Tips to Finding the Right Car

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woman smiling and leaning on car while holding a set of car keys

You want a car. You need a car. But, deciding what car to purchase is a complicated process. There are so many awesome options on the market and you have to factor in so many variables that the “simple” task of choosing the right car is near impossible to complete. If you need help figuring out what car to buy, the following tips can help steer you in the right direction.

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One of the first things you need to figure out during your car search is your budget. But don’t just factor in the sticker price. You need to include costs such as insurance, maintenance, fuel, and registration/licensing fees. These costs will all impact your budget.

“A good rule of thumb is not to exceed 10 percent of your take-home pay on a car payment,” recommends writer Tyler Weaver on MSN Money.


The decision of what car to buy may come down to how you intend to use your car. Do you dream of off-road adventures? Do you need a vehicle that offers plenty of cargo space for equipment, gear, or tools? Do you need a fuel-efficient commuter that maneuvers well in a crowded city? Do you need a spacious model that has comfortable seating for your passengers and many family-friendly amenities? Once you have determined what you need in a car you can narrow it down to a few choices.


Deciding what powertrain you want in your vehicle can impact how much you have to budget for fuel. Opting for an electric-powered vehicle will save you on gas, but you will have to figure out how you will charge it. Public charging stations are still not as prevalent as gas stations and home charging units are great but take up a lot of space. If you aren’t ready to switch from gas to fully electric, but still want an eco-friendly powertrain, you could consider the benefits of a hybrid vehicle. If you need a truck that has plenty of power and towing strength, you might want to look at diesel-powered engines.

Learn More: Which Chevy Trax is right for you?

These tips can help you pinpoint a few contenders. Once you have your shortlist, head to the dealership for a test drive.