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How to Choose The Best Value Car

How to Choose The Best Value Car

By Katie O'Shea • August 28, 2015

Choosing a car that gives you the most bang for your buck requires you to consider many different factors.

Of course, considering your budget is important. A car is a major investment, so you'll want to only agree to pay for something you'll be able to afford. You should plan to research prices and consider negotiating before you make your purchase.

However, there are a few other factors that are also important to consider before you shell out the cash. Here are a few key things to keep in mind as you decide which car is the best value for you.

Payment Options

As you consider which options fit your budget, you may want to consider whether buying or leasing is right for you.

Leasing a car means that you will use the vehicle for a few years, then turn it in at the appointed time.

Buying a car means that you will own your vehicle once you have paid it off. If you buy a car, you may eventually choose to sell it.

Resale Possibilities

If you plan to purchase your car, you may also want to consider whether to opt for a new car or a used car. One thing that might influence your decision is whether you're interested in reselling your car.

If you're thinking of buying a car that you can eventually resell, it's important to think practically about the car that you're choosing.

Ask yourself whether the car's features will appeal to a wider audience. It's possible that certain vehicles may be more difficult to resell, especially if they have unusual paint colors, certain flashy technological features, or customizations with distinct styles.


Obviously, you want to make sure that you're choosing a car that will protect you and your passengers.

Nowadays, new cars in the US are required to have some of the most essential safety features, which include seat belts, airbags, anti-lock brake systems, and electronic stability control.

However, if you're shopping for a used car, be aware that not all used vehicles are equipped with important safety features.

Some used vehicles may have been produced before the law required them to have certain safety features. For instance, airbags have only been required for passenger cars since model year 1998. For pickups, vans, and SUVs under 8,500 lbs., airbags have only been required since 1999. Thus, cars manufactured before those dates may not be equipped with airbags.

Be sure to find out whether the car you're interested in is equipped with key safety features.

Fuel Efficiency

Part of finding a best value car involves considering how much the car will cost during its whole lifetime, which includes its fuel costs. While it would be difficult to estimate the amount of money you can expect to spend over the lifetime of your car, it seems safe to say that buying a more fuel efficient vehicle may serve you well in the long run, helping you save on gas.

It's a good idea to do some research about fuel-efficient vehicles. See which cars are within your budget and could save you some money on fuel.

How Well It Fits Your Needs

Overall, it is important to consider how well a car will fit your current and future needs. If a car doesn't fit your needs now, and is unlikely to fit your needs later, then it may not be the best value vehicle for you.

The information in this article is provided for general education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. It is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal or any other advice specific to you the user or anyone else. The companies and individuals (other than OneMain Financial’s sponsored partners) referred to in this message are not sponsors of, do not endorse, and are not otherwise affiliated with OneMain Financial.