So, you’re thinking of buying a new car. Whether this will be your first car, or you’ve been a car owner for many years, there’s no denying that buying a car can be a huge accomplishment.

Because cars are big financial investments, it’s also important to ensure that you get the right car for you, as you will need to commit to it for a few years. And while you may be tempted to rush out and immediately buy your dream car, there are a few things to look for and keep in mind. Keep reading to learn what they are.

Look out for good dealerships

Some people may prefer to privately buy their car, but often, working through a dealership is a better option. Firstly, many private sellers will only accept a cash buyer, whereas dealerships are generally okay with it if you need to get financing.

Secondly, a good dealership will take a lot of the weight off your shoulders by doing a lot of the work for you. This is also a good idea if you have a car to sell, as many dealerships work with auto leads, so they can get a buyer much sooner. Of course, if you do decide to work through a dealership when buying your car, be sure that it is a respectable and legitimate company.

Look out for secondhand cars in good condition

Most people prefer buying a brand new car as opposed to a secondhand one, but that’s not always possible. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with a secondhand car, as long as it’s in good condition.

Secondhand cars are often much cheaper, but it is a bit tricker to buy one since there is always the possibility of it being damaged. If you’re new to car buying and have no idea what to look for, we recommend having a mechanic check out any secondhand car you’re considering buying, so that they can tell you if there are any problems.

Look out for a car that fits your needs

Every car has a purpose. And sure, its basic purpose is to provide transportation, but it’s not as easy as that.

For example, your dream car may be a sports car. But if you need a big, strong car for work purposes, a sports car isn’t going to cut it. The same can be said for a family car – there are certain requirements a car needs to fulfill, so be sure to look out for any cars that check these boxes.

Look out for safety ratings

No matter how careful you are on the road, accidents can still happen. That’s why it’s so incredibly important to make sure that you get a safe car. This means that the car should have all its seatbelts and an airbag on the driver’s side.

If you often drive with a passenger, you may want a car with multiple airbags. Luckily, it’s easy to find the safety rating of a car online, so you can easily see which cars are safe to buy and which ones you should rather avoid.

Look out for a car that fits your budget

It can be gut-wrenching to find a car that is perfect in every single way . . . until you look at the price tag and see that it’s way out of your price range. Before you start looking for a new car, you should know how much you can afford to spend on a car.

This way, you can eliminate any cars that don’t fit your budget, which means you won’t get your hopes up or have your heart broken.

Look out for how much space a car has

If you’re usually the only one driving the car, and you only need it for transportation reasons, we suggest you get the smallest car you can find, since they are often cheaper and also use less gas.

However, depending on the purpose of your car, you may have certain space requirements. If you have a large family, for example, you may want a car that seats more people than the average car.

If you need a car for work purposes, you may need a car with a lot of space in the trunk for transporting equipment.

Look out for cars with lower insurance rates

Unfortunately, some cars may require higher insurance than others. This is because certain cars are tagged as likely to be stolen, and it can also be because some cars are unsafe and more likely to get damaged in accidents.

That’s why it’s a good idea to narrow down which kinds of cars you’ll be looking at and to research how much your car insurance will be for each of those cars. Of course, expensive insurance isn’t a dealbreaker – you can always try some of these smart ways to save on car insurance.

Look out for a car that feels good

It goes without saying that, before you commit to buying a car, you need to test drive it. If you’re not an experienced or confident driver, you can ask someone else to test drive it as well and give you their opinions.

When you test drive a car, you will get a feeling about it. Either it works for you and your driving style, or it doesn’t. People have different ideas of what makes a car “good”, so it’s best to go with your gut and how you feel.

Look out for a car with a service history

If you’re buying a new car, be sure to get one with a service plan, so that you can be sure your car is always well-maintained. Naturally, this means that if you will be buying a secondhand car, you should look out for a car with a service history.

If the service history is unavailable, it may mean that the car has never been serviced. The proper maintenance has thus not been done and it’s more likely that the car will have problems.