How to Choose the Best New Car

Reader question:

I want to get a quality car deal. How do I make sure I do this?


Let’s see…

The one main thing that you want to avoid when buying a car, new or used, is getting trapped in a lemon. A lemon is a vehicle that is just beset with problems. In the case of a used car, it’s usually a car that is sold while seeming to be in good condition but is really on the edge of break down. In new cars, it’s more a car with which the production just somehow went wrong. Whatever the case is, it’s bad and you don’t want one. So how do you avoid it?

  • Survey the body. See if there are an spaces between the panels. There should be–around the doors, trunk, and hood, usually. But are they regular? Do they look the same? If the gaps are uneven and just don’t seem to mesh with the other gaps then it means that, on a new car, the body just wasn’t put together right, and on a used car, it might have been put together again after falling off the wall, if you know what I mean.
  • Colors–do they change? They shouldn’t, at least not in a noticeable way. Look at each different part of your car and make sure that it has the same hue, instead of just something kinda close to it.
  • What sticks out? Look under your car and see if there’s anything in particular protruding from the underneath that could rake over something like a parking berm. There might be an air dam to help with the aerodynamics, but this should be back far enough to not cause any problems.
  • Open the hood. You may not know a lot about cars, yourself, but at least you can see the obvious wrongs. Is the engine secure? What about the battery–is it safe from loosening, and is it covered?
  • How does the window glass fit? There’s a perfect fit that you have to get, because if the glass doesn’t fit just right,your wind noise will be horrible and worsen every year.
  • Open the doors, close the doors. They should be able to stay open halfway and all the way. Also, check for a kind of hollow noise when you just the door. If you hear it, you’re going to be a hearing a lot noise while out on the road.
  • Wires. Do you have power adjusting seats in your vehicle? Check where all the wiring is to make sure it’s both tightly fit and covered up.
  • Details. Don’t just pay attention to the big things like the mechanical aspects. Are the seats comfortable? Do the seat belts latch easily? This may not seem important, but if they aren’t and they don’t, it can take a lot away from the driving experience.
  • Finally, test drive! This can be your most important fact finding expedition with your car.


Fashun Guadarrama.

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."