There comes a point in time to purchase a vehicle. For some people that time comes often as they believe owning a newer vehicle is best for them. For others it may be when the cost to repair their current vehicle is more than it is worth, or the likelihood of something major failing is strong even if they fix a current issue. Another case for the need of a different vehicle may come due to an accident, or a new driver in the home. Whatever the case may be, it is important to look at your options and current situation before purchasing your latest form of transportation.
Although shopping for a vehicle may seem to be the first place to start, looking at your credit score, debt to asset ratio, etc. is probably a better place to begin. You do not want to purchase a vehicle that will put a strain on your finances unless you have no other choice. Once you know your financial situation, get with your financial institution to see what deals they have on financing for both new and used vehicles. Sometimes your local institution can provide better terms for financing than dealers you may meet during your search. If you have checked with your financial institution at least you will know what you can expect to pay if you borrow the money from them.
Should you buy new or used? It depends on the situation. Sometimes you can get a great deal on a new vehicle and couple it with 0% financing for a 60 month loan. If the purchase price is reasonable, then it may be smart to purchase a new vehicle. Good pricing on a new vehicle may not be an option (or if the financing cost is high) then maybe you should buy a used one (or pre-owned as some people call them). If you decide to buy a used vehicle, then determine if you will buy from a dealer or an individual. Purchasing from a dealer may be more costly, but if they are a reputable dealer then you may have a better chance to own a reliable vehicle. Other factors to consider when purchasing a vehicle are the gas mileage (or cost per charge), long term maintenance costs, reliability and resell value. Also important in the decision-making process is vehicle use, frequency and distance it will be driven, and experience of the person driving the vehicle. Strong consideration should also be given to likability, driving comfort, and utility. Once these things are determined it is time to search, research, test and buy your next vehicle.