Sure, I’d love to help you. But, I have a few criteria of my own first. Let me explain.
I’ve been at this a long time -- the better part of a decade in fact (don’t let my youthful face fool you… insert laugh track here) -- so it’s inevitable that I am asked the age-old “what car should I buy next?” question. In all honesty, I love to help friends, family members, strangers even purchase their new (or used) vehicles.
So, how about we strike a deal, you and I? I’ll gladly help you with your purchase, offering up all the sound advice and opinions I can on a vehicle that’s perfect for you if (and only if) you’ll follow the below criteria:
Note: These criteria should be applied in all car-buying scenarios, whether you’re asking me, a car salesman, a car-builder tool or some random person on the street (which I don’t really recommend, but to each their own).
Don’t ask me, point blank: “What new car should I buy?”
I loathe this question for a multiple of reasons. You’ve given me nothing to go on. Along those lines is also the question: “What new car is good?” They’re all good in one way or another, and if you ask me what new car you should buy with nothing else to back it up I’m going to tell you to buy the new Porsche 911 GT3. It’s new. And you should buy it. I’ve answered all the necessary parts of the question.
Do give me a budget.
This is so very, very important. If you ask me what new car is “good” but also tack on a price bracket, at least I can narrow my suggestions and understand a bit better what it is you’re looking for, exactly. Whether new or used, if I have a dollar figure (be it a full amount or even a monthly limit) at least I can steer you in the right direction.
Don’t tell me you don’t care what it is only to tell me after you don’t like certain brands.
If you know you like a specific automaker (or don’t) then tell me. If you absolutely hate all Hondas for some reason, tell me. I won’t suggest the new Fit or Civic and you’ll be able to explore an alternative that’s just as economical and good to drive.
On that note, I’d like to express a desire for all car shoppers to broaden their horizons and explore manufacturers they may not have ventured to before. Always thought Subaru was too pricey? Give them another look and see what they’ve got to offer. Think Kia and Hyundai are too “cheap”? I dare you to sit inside a new Elantra and tell me you think it’s cheap.
Do tell me what your needs are.
If you tell me you’re looking for a green car, a hybrid of some sort, and you want to use as little gas as possible but don’t tell me how far you have to drive each day, I may suggest the Nissan LEAF. However, your 90km commute (each way) would mean the LEAF is totally off your list of possible vehicles to own.
I was confused by a friend asking me my opinion of the Hummer H2. His everyday car is a MINI Cooper. The way he asked, it seemed as if he was replacing the MINI. I was a bit taken aback. He doesn’t have kids and I was unsure of his needs for the H2. It was only when I dug a bit deeper that I discovered it was a second-car need, and it had to be something that would tow. I altered his direction a tad and steered him towards a used Toyota FJ Cruiser.
Don’t make it stressful for yourself.
Big purchases are stressful. There’s no getting around it. However, if you can enjoy yourself in the process then do! I’m always open for discussions and truly discovering the car that’s right for you. It is a highly personal purchase (in my opinion) and as much of an “expert” as I am, it comes down to what you really want in the end. I can only guide you so much.
But, please, give me the right tools to guide you so I don’t feel like a tool in the process.