Evaluating Your Car Needs Vs. Wants

If you have been reading my posts, you know that I am currently looking for a car. Part of my journey in becoming a grown-up! In my earlier post, I mentioned I wanted a four door, mid-size car with good fuel economy. I want to stay under the 12K range, no more than 15K.

Today I had the chance to talk to one of my buddies who knows a lot more about cars than I do. I told him about the research I had gathered up, and my thoughts so far. I did mention that I felt completely lost with no idea on how to start. I mean who isn’t lost when your buying your first car? The experience makes me want to NOT buy one. LOL

He asked me a couple of questions including: what kind of attributes are you looking for in a car? Do you care about brand, special features? I said that I really wanted to stay under 10K. Most people I had talked to, told me that I would not get what I wanted for that little, and should consider increasing my budget. He said that I did not have to. I just had to reevaluate some of my wants/needs.

Basically, I need a car with low miles and good fuel economy. In the end, it doesn’t matter what size, shape, or color. At first I wanted a four door mid size car, but then I asked myself why? My hubby already has a four door car that sits five people comfortably. So if we wanted to travel, we would just take his car. There is no need for a four door car. I am going to be using my car for city driving to get from home to work to the gym, etc. Switching to a two door makes my price point more achievable. A two door car also means better gas mileage, lower insurance, and lower overall price. Big win!

So, it looks like I will be looking at the Honda Civic, Mazda Miata, Mazda 3, and Ford Focus over the next couple of weeks to see which one I want.

Oh, he also mentioned that Mid May is the best time to shop for a car. Apparently, the 2013 models come out in May, and people buying a new car come in and trade their old cars. This gives us a couple of weeks to figure out which car I want. πŸ™‚

I learned a lesson today. You really have to evaluate the needs vs. wants you desire in a car. Especially if you have a budget to stick to! I mean do I need heated seats? Nah. My tush is hot enough ;P. Do I need an mp3 player? Hmm, I don’t even have CD’s or songs to transfer to an MP3 player. I totally rock out to pandora for free! πŸ™‚ Plus, the radio is free πŸ™‚

I hope everybody has a good Thursday! I have a busy day ahead since I put certain things off on Wednesday. It was just one of those days. On the other hand, we completed my hubby’s resume! πŸ™‚

What are your thoughts?

P.S. I have been using CarSabi (The Used Car Engine)Β to browse through cars.Β I recommend it!
P.S.S. There is a part of me that wonders whether I can survive without a car. I mean that would save us $10K, car maintenance, insurance, gas. Britney at MoneyAfterGrad is attempting to not get a car. Looks like another post coming soon! πŸ™‚

SavvyFinancialLatina

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5 responses to “Evaluating Your Car Needs Vs. Wants

  1. I would get a civic just because they are reliable. I have 2 friends who bought Mazda3s last year, and they both had to get rid of them this year because the engine and everything kept failing on them even though they were both 2008s. I’m sure there’s good Mazda3s out there, but if you get one, I would bring someone you know who is handy with cars to look at it.

  2. Thanks! Well, that makes 3 people that had bad Mazda’s. I had a friend who bought a Mazda and had to get rid of it. I thought it was because he bought it at an auction house,
    Civics are popular cars, I see them everywhere. Thanks for your input!

  3. Man, it’s so funny that where you are, a two-door car will save you on insurance! Here, they usually jack up one’s insurance rates because those are the cars that young people tend to buy, because they’re sportier. ESPECIALLY a Civic. Too funny how different things are in different areas! The Civic is a bitching car, though. My mom’s currently driving one from 1995 and it drives like a champ.

    I might suggest you rethink the mp3 thing. Even though you don’t use it now, you might really use it later. (At least make sure the car has an AUX jack.) When I was car shopping, I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need all the bells and whistles, and for the most part I didn’t, but I did try to convince myself at one point that I could live without air conditioning. A friend of mine basically slapped me in the face when I said that! Haha. Even though I usually don’t have the AC on when I drive, on those few times when it’s 35 C out and you’re sitting in the traffic, not having AC is just murder. The lesson I learned when car shopping was to not think necessarily about what your car needs are today, but what they will be over the years, and if this car will be able to satisfy them. (This is the same reason I insisted on getting a four-door, too.)

    And I’m not gonna lie…the heated seats are awesome. Haha. I didn’t realize how much I wanted them until I had them.

    Also want to echo the Mazda 3 thing. I know a lot of people that have them and love them, but a few that had really significant problems a couple of years in, usually with the electronics. Not to say don’t buy it, but just make sure you get it really thoroughly checked out if you buy used.

    • Hi Melissa! Thanks for commenting! I actually have to check on what my friend said. I have to call my state farm representative and check on insurance rates (putting it on my to do list). I definitely need a/c since I am in Texas! 105 F degree weather during the summer is not manageable without a/c. As far as heated seats- since it’s pretty warm down here, the sun warms up the seats usually! In the cold weather my butt is the least of my problems in the car! I definitely will make sure to check the aux. cable. Unfortunately, at my price range I doubt I will get an mp3 player. But there are multiple ways you can connect it. I am definitely open to two door cars now, though. Whereas before I did not even want to look at them.

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