Everyone dreams of finding their perfect match. That ideal partner who has similar priorities, a compatible lifestyle, and who makes you smile every day. I’m talking about the perfect car. (What did you think I was talking about?) For many people, selecting a car is a rational choice. A car is simply a tool for getting from point A to point B as comfortably and economically as possible. For others, it’s more of an emotional choice where looks, image and performance are important. Either approach is valid, but the decision can be difficult. With over 400 different makes and models to choose from, how do you pick the right vehicle for you?
Women spend an average of seventeen weeks researching cars before they make a buying decision (men spend fifteen weeks, on average). That’s a lot of hours spent surfing the Internet and tromping through car lots. With all the information available online and many quality vehicles to choose from, it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed. This can lead to a state I call “purchasing paralysis”. It’s like trying on too many wedding dresses (which I did). After a while, they all start to look alike, and you just can’t decide which one to buy.
As an automotive expert and self-professed motorhead, I know just about every make and model on the market. Over the years, I’ve developed a knack for intuitively knowing what the right car is for a given person. Call it a sixth sense. I also believe that a car should not only meet your needs, you should love it. Your perfect car may not be your dream car (which implies that money is no object), but it is the perfect car for you right now.
Here are the three key things you need to consider when picking the perfect car:
1. Your budget: The first question you must ask yourself is “how much can I afford”? Your budget may determine if you consider a new or used car, as well as what model is realistic. If your budget is only $10,000, you probably won’t be looking at a BMW. If your budget is $40,000 or $50,000, it opens up a lot more options. Always start with how much you can afford, and never look at a car that is outside of that budget.
2. Your lifestyle: What do you need the vehicle to do for you? Does it need to hall four kids and all of their sports equipment around town? Do you need to transport important clients for work? Will you be towing a trailer or a boat? Or do you want something fun to zip around in on the weekends? Answering these “utility” questions will help you determine what type of vehicle you need, be it an SUV, a luxury sedan or a minivan.
Next, consider your priorities. How many miles per year do you drive? How long do you plan to keep the vehicle? Rank factors such as reliability, safety, maintenance costs, fuel economy, luxury, looks, image, and performance in order of importance to you. If long-term reliability and low maintenance costs are important to you, look for brands with a history of good quality and reliability, such as Honda, Toyota and Lexus. If the image and luxury are more important, consider brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
3. Your personality: The car you drive reflects not only your budget, but also your personality. Are you practical, adventurous, classy, image-conscious, or technologically-oriented? Car brands have “personalities”, too. BMW is both a status symbol and the “ultimate driving machine”. Ford is all about the latest technology and appeals to younger, “techie” drivers. Toyotas are great for practical people who just want to get from point A to point B without having to worry about anything. You need to find the car whose “personality” matches yours!
With so many exciting makes and models on the market today, finding the perfect car can seem like a daunting task. That’s why I have developed the Perfect Car™ process. I use over 140 pieces of data about your lifestyle, budget and personality to narrow down the choices from 400+ vehicles to just two or three that I think you will love, saving you countless hours of internet surfing and mind-numbing test drives.