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Once upon a time, we were on a cross country family road trip. We were 500 miles into a 1000 mile journey when our engine blew. Once upon a time, we had to buy a new family car, and quick!

What we ultimately ended up doing was leaving our old car in the town it died in and renting a car to finish out the trip. It was a stressful situation, but not as stressful as it could have been. Today I’d like to share that wisdom with you.

 5 Things To Think About When You Buy A New Car

How does this car need to serve us?

In our case, we knew right off the bat that the only type of vehicle we were interested in looking for was a minivan. We needed a car that accommodate both our family and our kids’ friends. Our car that died was a Subaru Forrester that had just enough room in the back for two car seats. We knew we wanted to gain space, but after researching on places like Cars.com we weren’t interested in SUVs with third rows.

One of the biggest questions we had to figure out was how our car seats would work with our new car. Some tether, some don’t. Some latch, some don’t. It’s always important to us that our car seats are installed properly. This article has lots of great info! 

What is our budget?

In the grand scheme of things, our budget consideration was a big one. Our Forrester was paid for and we loved not making car payments. Our budget had enough room to accommodate a car payment, but not for a brand new van. Therefore, we were limited in our search to just used minivans.

What kind of car buyer are you?

Are you the kind of person who likes to research and compare? Or are you a swift decision maker? If you’re making this kind of decision with another person ( your spouse), what kind of decision maker are they? Who’s style will you follow?

In our case, my husband Mike is a researcher and I’m a swift decision maker. We really didn’t have a ton of time to research our car, we needed one fast!

Who will compromise?

As it turns out, there were two different minivans within our price range. One had a ton more features that my husband loved and one was much more basic. The price difference between the two was close to $6,000.00. In the end, we went with the more basic model. As the primary driver, I couldn’t justify the extras and was happy to leave them out if it meant a lower payment.

Who will negotiate?

It is no secret that buying a car typically involves a game of negotiation. In our case, I did the negotiation because I’ve got a more assertive personality between my husband and I. But we had decided our game plan ahead of time. Decide yours too, and walk into the car dealership prepared!