Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Buy a New Car


Buying a new car is one of the most significant purchases you’ll ever make in life, and it is important to know exactly what you want before you start signing the paperwork.

When purchasing a new car, you should ask yourself:

  1. What features are most important
  2. What type of warranty you need
  3. What your budget is
  4. If there are any extra features you want
  5. If your budget can handle any additional fee

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these new car questions.

1. What Features Are Important to Me?

When buying a new car, it’s important to ask yourself how you’re going to be using the car. If you have a large family, you’ll likely want a vehicle that has good gas mileage, plenty of seating (ideally enough seating for 6-8 because you’ll appreciate the extra room), and dependability.

However, if you need to tow a trailer on the weekends, you’ll want a car that has a good tow rating and a payload that can handle everything.

Don’t forget to consider any changes that your life or your family may see in the future. Families expecting new children in the next couple of years will likely want to avoid the two-seater sports cars for obvious reasons. On the other hand, if you have travel on the road a lot, a smaller car will help you save more on gas and other costs along the way.

This question all comes down to what type of car suits your specific needs. Here is a short list of key features to help you get started:

  • Four-wheel drive
  • Good gas mileage
  • Number of seats
  • Towing capacity
  • Trunk space
  • Horsepower

2. What Type of Warranty Should I Look for?

You want your vehicle investment to last you as long as possible. On average, most car warranties last up to three years or at least 36,000 miles, but you should ask yourself if that’s long enough for you or should you think about adding an extended warranty? The question essentially comes down to, “Can I afford a major repair after the factory coverage runs out?”

You still want to make sure you know exactly what a vehicle’s warranty covers before purchase. Some basic warranties cover a vehicle’s “bumper to bumper” composition that includes nearly everything from the front of the car’s bumper to the back.

Most Powertrain warranties, however, cover the things that the automakers manufacture such as the engine, drivetrain, the air conditioning, and electrical system.
Warranties tend to vary based on the automaker, dealership and the vehicles themselves, but you’ll want to make sure you’re actually getting a good deal. For example, some car manufacturers offer excellent warranties that may seem too good to be true, and they often are. Always read the full warranty!

You don’t want to encounter any unwanted repairs in the future, but you want to be sure that you read all the warranty terms so that you adhere to them closely and don’t run the risk of voiding your coverage.

3. What Is Within My Budget?

While there isn’t an “ideal” number you should spend on a car, it’s wise to keep two general rules in mind when budgeting:

  1. The total value of your vehicle should never be more than half your annual income. So, if you make $50,000 per year, your car should not cost more than $25,000.
  2. Another rule to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t spend more than 50% of your monthly income on a fixed expense such as a car payment.

So, if you’re trying to decide what you can afford, make sure that whatever total car payment you end up with doesn’t exceed that amount.

If you have your heart set on a particular make or brand, try looking for an older model or something comparable. Some other things to keep in mind when thinking about your vehicle budget are:

  • Fuel economy
  • Insurance
  • Vehicle registration
  • Maintenance and servicing
  • Tire costs

4. Are There any Extra Features I Want?

More new car dealers than ever are offering in-dash, technology options like satellite navigation, internet access, and infotainment systems.

For some people, these features are extremely important while others would like to keep the additional costs of buying a new car as low as possible. It all comes down to how important these features are to you and your needs.

5. Are There Additional Fees I Need to Consider?

When you’re getting ready to purchase a new car, remember that you’re paying for more than just the car itself.

Documentation, registry fees, and sales tax are standard, but there may be additional fees at some dealerships like preparation fees. Don’t be afraid to ask questions so you know exactly what you’re paying for.

Looking for a New Honda in Wichita?

If you are in the market for a new car, take a look at our online inventory or stop by our showroom at 7017 East Kellogg Dr today and find the car that is right for you!