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Whatever the reason may be for finding a new car, whether you have a growing family that you need to upgrade or you’re celebrating a big life win, you should know a few tips when searching for a car. If you need advice from auto experts at an auto body shop in Huntington, West Virginia, East End Body Shop is the place to start.

East End Body Shop offers a variety of services including mobile claims management, interest-free financing, auto body repair, frame repair, collision repair, auto painting, glass repair, automotive detailing, auto mechanical repair, automotive claims, insurance repair work, and auto body paint.

Our Top 5 Tips to Find the Best New Car For Your Needs

auto body shop in Huntington, West Virginia
auto body shop in Huntington, West Virginia

Determine your budget

The very first thing you want to do when deciding to buy a car is to crunch the numbers to figure out how much you can spend. If you start looking without choosing a price point, you are almost guaranteed to fall in love with a car that is outside of your budget. Choosing a budget will also help you narrow your search. Look over your finances to determine how much of a down payment you can make, or what your plan is to save up to pay cash. You will want to take into account extra fees and the cost of registering the car.

Decide whether to finance, lease or pay cash

After you have determined your budget, you can decide if you are going to finance or lease the vehicle, or if you choose to pay all cash for the vehicle. A finance agreement will generally cost more money because you own the car, but a lease will allow you to make smaller payments and trade in the car for a newer model in the future.

Consider the following when weighing your options between leasing and buying:

Leasing

  • You can drive a more expensive car for less money
  • Most repairs will be covered under the factory warranty
  • There are no trade-in hassles at the end of the lease
  • You can drive a new car with the latest technology every few years

Buying

  • You have more flexibility to sell the car whenever you want and to whomever you want
  • You can modify the car to your taste
  • There are no mileage penalties if you drive a lot and farther distances
  • Your car expenses will be lower in the long run if you pay off the car and keep it for a long period of time

If you have any questions or concerns about leasing vs. buying, you can speak with an auto expert at an auto body shop in Huntington, West Virginia.

Evaluate car size

If you are searching for a car just for you, you have free reign over this choice whether you want a small sedan for the meantime or want to plan for a larger vehicle for the future. You may also be looking to upgrade if your family is growing, or you are planning to grow your family.

You will want to consider if you need third-row seating, larger truck space, more legroom in the back seats, etc. 

Find a trusted brand

No matter how many admiring features a vehicle has, you want to ensure that you trust the brand name before purchasing it. Consider vehicles that you or your family members have owned in the past that have operated well or know the ones that have had a large number of problems. Do your research on the specs of the vehicle and know how to mechanics of the car operate. This is where an auto expert at an auto body shop in Huntington, West Virginia will come in handy. You can get advice about certain cars you are looking for or get help with searching for a car in the area.

If you have multiple car brands in mind that you know you trust, you should do your research and compare the pros and cons of each brand from the mechanics of the vehicle to the small interior details. 

If you want to talk to a trusted source about the various brands of vehicles, you can reach out to East End Body Shop, an auto body shop in Huntington, West Virginia.

Prioritize major factors

You must also decide what features are the most important for you. You may be looking for a vehicle that fits more than five people, is better for dirt roads, has lower mileage, is a newer year, etc. Whatever your conditions are, you need to take them into account and know how they will affect the price range of the vehicle.

Here are potential questions to ask yourself when searching for a vehicle:

  • How many passengers do I need to carry?
  • Do I have a long commute that I need a low-mileage car?
  • What type of driving do I do? Is it primarily highway, surface streets, or off-road?
  • Do I need an all-wheel drive?
  • What safety features are important to me? Do I want blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, or automatic emergency breaking?
  • What are my must-have features such as a backup camera, leather seats, etc.?
  • What cargo capacity do I need?
  • Will I be using children’s car seats?
  • Will I be doing any towing?
  • How much garage or parking space do I have?
auto body shop in Huntington, West Virginia
auto body shop in Huntington, West Virginia

Test driving

Once you have narrowed down your search for a car and are ready to look at a few in person, call, text, or email the dealership to schedule a day and time for a test drive.

A car may have all the features you want, but it really comes down to how it feels and operates when you are in the driver’s seat. Try driving the car in both stop-and-go traffic and at highway speeds. Drive over bumps, take tight corners, and test the brakes in a safe location. Turn off the stereo so you can listen to the sound of the engine. You can still evaluate the sound system when you’re at the dealership, not driving it.

Get in and out of the vehicle several times and be sure to sit in the back seat to gauge how your passengers will feel. If you plan on having children’s car seats, you want to make sure the back seats have adequate room. Inspect the cargo space to determine if it meets your needs.

If you have any further questions about searching for a new vehicle, speak with an auto expert at an auto body shop in Huntington, West Virginia. Or better yet, call East End Body Shop in Huntington, West Virginia and see how we can best help you!