What makes a car deal a good car deal? Is it how affordable the car is, or how shiny the wheels and paint job are? While the deciding factors of what makes a good car deal may differ from person to person, there are some constant factors worth noting when you are looking for a good auto deal. If you have ever bought a car and then regretted your decision, the chances are that you may have overlooked one of these factors, or you may have focused on just one of these factors. Since it is part of Auto Deals Hub’s mission to help car buyers find car deals, we thought it would be appropriate to define what we consider a good or great deal on a car.
Evaluate A Car Deal Based On Long-Term Cost, Not Price Tag:
We could talk about the price tag, MSRP, interest rates and other technical stuff that often come up when people talk about the cost of cars. However, there is a simpler way to put things in perspective. When you are looking for good deals on cars, it is best to consider the long-term cost of the car, rather than just focusing on the price factor.
So, why is it important to consider the long-term cost of the vehicle?
A good example to illustrate this is someone looking to buy a used car. If they focus on looking for a cheap used car without looking at the long-term cost of that car, they could make a very expensive decision. When you factor in cost of repairing problems that usually surface with used cars, it defeats the purpose of buying a cheap used car – which is often saving money. Cheap and reliable almost never go hand in hand when it comes to used cars; there are always hidden expenses that surface. You have to estimate the long-term cost of owning that car, and then make your buying decision based on overall cost factor that makes sense for your budget.
You can only know whether you are getting a good car deal or not when you factor in the cost of owning the car, (that is maintenance, reliability, fuel efficiency etc.) in addition to the price of the car. Buying a “bargain priced” car may be gratifying with all the “savings”, but there might be a catch to that bargain. If you have to get the car fixed a few weeks later, it is highly unlikely that you will think it was a good deal.
The Vehicle’s Reliability Factor
It is hard to imagine any deal being a good deal without a reliable product. This applies very much to car buying, but it is easy to overlook when you are limited by challenging credit or you are under the pressure of a crafty sales pitch. Whether you are looking for a deal on a used car or new car, it has to be a reliable car to be a good deal. If you can get it cheap and reliable, well, that will be an epic deal!
How do you figure out what is reliable and what is not?
- Ask family and friends how they like their own car. Usually they can tell you like it is since they usually do not have the need to put a spin on it.
- Check consumer reports for the make and model you are interested in
- Look up reviews, good or bad
- Look around to see what is popular with other car owners in your area
- If you are looking at buying a used car, talk to or hire a qualified auto mechanic to do a pre-buy car inspection
Generally, this will give you a good idea of what to go for in terms of reliable vehicles. The reliability of a car should be on the top of your list when you are looking for the best car deals.
Does The Car Hold Retain Good Value?
How well a car holds its value goes hand in hand with quality and reliability. When a car make or model “holds” its value, it generally is reliable, or has some other qualities that make it a hot commodity even when its used. Value retention is important to consider when you are planning to get a long-term car, or if you just want to have a car that can give you better trade-in value in the future. But, since value can also be relative based on what each car buyer considers valuable in a car, we consider that a great car deal is a deal that meets or exceeds the value expectations of the buyer.
In summary, what makes a good car deal is a car that has a reasonable long-term cost, a car that is reliable and finally a car that holds its value. If you look at those three factors, you will set yourself up to find real car deals that you will not regret. Even then, when in doubt, we recommend that you hire a qualified auto mechanic to do a pre-buy car inspection, especially before you commit to buying a used car.