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NowCar Car Shopping Homework

Need a New Car? Homework is Important

Written By, Chloe L.

Before buying a new car you need to do homework on the car and yourself. Knowing your needs, wants and budget will make your new car shopping process easier.

At NowCar, we can help you shop with all of those considerations in mind and we can help you find a new car that you love. NowCar knows that people have different ways of shopping for a car and that is why we have created three different ways for our customers to shop. You can shop by make and model, features or price.

We also recommend that you get an honest understanding of your car needs and wants, before you start shopping for a new car ask yourself these questions.

How Many Miles Do You Drive in a Year?

This question is pretty important for a few reasons -- insurance, warranty and cost of gas, not to mention, if you plan to lease, you should know how many miles you will drive each year.

First, how many miles you drive a year is something that insurance companies consider when setting your insurance premium. Generally speaking, the more you drive a year, the more you will need to pay, so that is something to consider when thinking about how much you have to spend on insurance each month.

If you have a long commute or your job requires a lot of traveling in your car, a fuel efficient car can make a huge difference to your wallet. For example, with gas prices at $2.19 per gallon, if you drive an average of 15,000 miles per year, which is the average, and you have a car that has a fuel economy of 35 MPG in the city and 45 MPG on the highway, you will save you $574 per year if you drive about half in the city and half on the highway. But if you drive about 25,000 miles per year, you will save $956 per year -- and those savings will further increase if gas prices increase!

Finally, if you drive a lot, you may want to consider looking for a car that is covered by a better-than-average warranty, or purchasing an extended warranty with your purchase. The standard basic limited warranty is 3 years or 36,000 miles and the standard limited powertrain warranty is 5 years or 60,000 miles.

However, Mitsubishi and Kia (two brands that are available at NowCar) cover their vehicles with a basic limited warranty of 5 years or 60,000 miles and a limited powertrain warranty for 10 years or 100,000 miles! Wow!

If you drive an average of 20,000 miles per year, your powertrain will be protected for at least five years, but the powertrain would only be protected for 3 years if you have the average warranty.

However, if Mitsubishi or Kia doesn't have what you want and you shop with a company that offers the average warranty, you can purchase an extended warranty when you make your purchase. The advantage to purchasing it when you buy the car is that you can add in that extra cost for the warranty into your monthly payment. If you want to purchase an extended warranty after you purchase the car, you have to pay for the entire amount upfront.

Desired Features

Do you like the price, fuel economy and look of a car, but it doesn’t have the touchscreen or backup camera you want? Don’t worry, you probably have options. Many people don’t realize that many car features like upgraded audio systems, touchscreens or backup cameras, can be added onto a vehicle by the manufacturer for a more affordable price than getting a trim that has all of the bells and whistles that you might not even care about.

If the car trim that is in your price point doesn’t come with a touchscreen, audio system or backup camera, chances are, you can probably add it on to the purchase for a couple hundred dollars more, which isn’t bad. Furthermore, if adding it on at the time of your purchase, you can always add an upgraded aftermarket sound system or rearview camera on at a later time after you have saved the money for them.

Sacrificing big things like fuel economy and overall price are not worth sacrificing and can’t be changed in the future.


Budget is very important to consider when getting a car and it is wise to know what you can afford before shopping, otherwise, you might let your heart do more of the talking than your brain. To set a car budget, consider these four factors.

  1. How much do you currently spend on gas? That will give you an idea of how much you should budget for unless getting a new car that has a much better fuel economy.
  2. Insurance cost. If you are getting a car that is more expensive and valuable than the car you currently have, your insurance payment might increase. Before buying a car, you can call your insurance company for a quote for the car you are considering.
  3. Monthly Payment - How much can you afford to spend on a monthly lease or car payment?
  4. After all of those things add up, will you still have money at the end of the month for savings or will you have spent all of your money on the new car?

Thankfully, there are a variety of manufacturers, styles and price points of vehicles today, but that can make shopping for a new car a little intimidating at first. If you consider all of the above first, you will have a much easier time finding the new car you need, want and love.