New Car Checklist: 7 Essential Things to Look for in a New Car

The average cost of a new car is inching closer and closer to $40,000 with each passing year. Car manufacturers are jampacking as many technological updates into vehicles as they can—and car buyers are paying the price for it.

If you’re the market for a new car, you should make the most of what you’re going to pay for it. You should get a car that you really love so that you don’t mind plopping down a big car payment every month.

Bring a new car checklist along with you when you go shopping for cars so that you know exactly what you want out of a car. Here are seven things you should look for in whichever car you end up buying.

1. Appearance

When you look out into your driveway and see your car parked in it, it should bring a smile to your face. You should like the way that your car looks and take a lot of pride in it.

It’s why you should start your next car shopping experience by casually looking around and seeing which cars you like from the outside. Walk around on a car lot or poke around on a car dealership’s website to see which cars stand out to you.

If nothing else, you should try to figure out which style of car you want. From tiny coupes to gigantic SUVs and everything in between, there are so many styles to pick from.

2. Safety

Most older cars had almost no special safety features in them. Outside of the basics likes seatbelts, car manufacturers didn’t use to make safety features a top priority when designing cars.

That’s all changed in recent years! Today, it’s difficult to find cars without safety features like:

  • Rear-view camera
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blindspot detection
  • Lane departure warning
  • Safety exit assist

But there are some cars that have more safety features than others. It’s your job to find out which safety features are important to you and track down a car that has all of them.

3. Comfort

Most of the new cars on the market today are able to last for more than 200,000 miles before they’ll need to be replaced. This means that you’re going to be doing a lot of driving between now and the time when you eventually get rid of your new car!

Make sure that you and your family are going to be comfortable for all 200,000-plus miles by keeping comfort in mind when working your way down your new car checklist.

The seats in a car should be soft and plush enough to keep you comfy. There should also be plenty of legroom for everyone in your vehicle. Take a new car out for a test drive to ensure it has the room you need in it.

4. Maintenance

Did you know that some cars are a lot harder to maintain than others? This is, unfortunately, something that people don’t always think about when they’re shopping for cars.

Many luxury car brands like BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Volvo create cars that require more maintenance than others. Cars from brands like Toyota, Honda, Lexus, Nissan, and Mazda, meanwhile, don’t require nearly as much maintenance as their luxurious counterparts.

There’s nothing wrong with going with a luxury car if you want to. But be aware of the fact that you might need to pay a little more to maintain it than you may have expected.

5. Fuel Economy

Sick and tired of spending a small fortune at the fuel pump every week? You don’t have to do it anymore when you buy a car that gets great gas mileage.

According to the Bureau of Transportation, a new car gets right around 36 miles per gallon on average as far as fuel economy is concerned. That’s far better than the fuel economy on an older car.

Read more here about how you can save yourself money by selling your old car and going with a newer version instead.

6. Cost

As we mentioned earlier, the cost of new cars has gone up quite a bit over time. You used to be able to buy a new car for somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000 two decades ago, but that number has almost doubled since.

With this in mind, it’s a great idea to sit down and crunch the numbers to come up with a car-buying budget before shopping for a new car begins. You should see how much you can realistically afford to spend on a car so that you don’t fall in love with something out of your price range.

If you plan on taking out an auto loan, you should also try to get preapproved for it ahead of time. It’ll let you know what you can borrow to buy your new car.

7. Warranty

Most car companies offer customers some kind of warranty. This warranty allows people to have major repairs covered within a certain timeframe or before they reach a certain mileage point.

A warranty could help save you thousands of dollars in repair bills, so you should consider which car companies offer the best warranties in the business. Buying a car that comes with a warranty will give you peace of mind you wouldn’t get with many other cars.

Use This New Car Checklist to Buy Your Next Vehicle

Buying a new car is a big decision. It’s not something you should do on a whim after spending an hour or two looking at cars.

Instead, you should run through all the things on this new car checklist and make it your mission to find a car that fits your needs. By doing your homework, you’ll steer clear of regretting a car purchase later. Your new car will prove to be a smart investment on your part.

Want to make sure you get a great deal on your next car when you go to buy it? Browse through our blog to get some tips on how to score the best deal possible when buying a car.