The Big Three: How to Buy Your Next Car, Truck or SUV

What’s the big three? It is the three big question all car buyers should be asking themselves each time they begin their search for their next vehicle.

Question 1:

Be honest with yourself and your partner (if you have one).  Will you be leasing or buying this vehicle? Do you like to haggle and strike a deal?  Before you even begin to do your research you have to know how much money you can spend each month on a car payment.  Do you have money for a down payment or will you be trading in a vehicle?  These answers can all affect the price of your next car, truck or SUV.

For us, we will be buying our next SUV and plan to own it for the about ten plus years.  That’s a long time to many people in the car world today.  While I know our budget has to be under a certain amount I do try to justify some extras on my next car because I will be driving it for so long.  I can buy one that guzzles more gas too because I work from home.  I’m not factoring that bill into my monthly budget but for some, it is a necessary question to ask.

What I Want

2018 Lincoln Navigator L  (Source: Cars.com)

Cars.com tells me that this all-new version of the 2018 Lincoln Navigator L is a very close to the car that is probably more in my budget.  Maybe I should hold out and wait for a leased one to come back on the lot in a few months?  This will make it more affordable and allow me to get more of the features I want in the SUV that really makes my heart beat faster.

What I Can Afford 

Redesigned for 2018 Ford Expedition EL. (Source: Cars.com)

Roomy and updated the Ford Expedition is more budget-friendly for me without giving up all the luxe details I would like in my next SUV.  Less gas guzzling and a panoramic sunroof that goes over the first and second row make this model very appealing.

Question 2:

You would be surprised how much sway one person can have in a household over another when it comes to big-ticket purchases.  When it comes to buying a vehicle what counts is who will be driving it the most.

While my husband may like the look and feel of the GMC Yukon XL it might not have the same appeal to me in drivability or cabin space.  Maybe I like the centerstack set-up on the Expedition better or it suits my frame more.  What is important here is who will be behind the wheel a majority of the time and how comfortable it is for them and their needs.

Do you need more space?  Do you need a different type of seat configuration like a bench row or captain style seating?  Are the controls within reach or is it hard to access certain areas of the vehicle that you will need to while driving it daily? Don’t let the person who won’t be driving it often sway you.

Question 3: 

This last is often partially answered with the discussion on question two.  While we have begun looking at larger SUV’s for our family of five we know that I will be the majority driver day in and day out.

We like to do road trips a few times a year meaning we need cargo space and a legitimate third row.   The second row of captain style chairs is optimal for us with the three kids and their friends.  I know we lose a spot doing that but the ability to move easily is also important to us.  We have a large dog who also travels with us and need space for his crate.  Additionally, I often pick up small furniture items to redo or use in home staging so easy fold down seats and again, cargo space is big in my book.  That’s another reason I’m looking at the Ford Expedition XL and Lincoln Navigator L.  I need those extra inches.

Up front, I loathe a high and wide console.  It is one of the big reasons I eliminated the Chevy Suburban from our list.  I felt isolated from the front passenger and everyone else behind me.

Last but certainly not least is comfort.  It is a must for me to have a great sound system and luxurious interior.  Not so much for my spouse who doesn’t obsess over car details in the same way I do.  If I’m going to be driving this car for a decade I want to do it surrounded by high-quality sounds and seating.

In the End

When it is time to consider your next vehicle remember the big three.  Really ask yourself these questions and do your research from there.  Trust me, it will create a better buying experience and more long-term happiness with your future vehicle.   Happy shopping!

 

*Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post from Cars.com.  Opinions are 100% my own.