Guide to Finding The Right Vehicle in Corpus Christi, TX

Mike Shaw Kia's Guide to Finding the Right Vehicle

Are you shopping for a car in Corpus Christi, Texas? At Mike Shaw Kia, we want to help you through every step of the journey, from identifying your needs to setting a budget and securing your auto loan. Let’s walk through the car-shopping process to set you up for success.

Identify Your Needs

For starters, figure out everything you need your vehicle to do. Along with your daily transportation, are there any roles that your next car will need to fill? If you need something practical that can adapt to a wide range of needs, a compact SUV or convenient sedan could offer the comfort, efficiency, and everyday utility that works for you. If you need more space for frequent travels with friends and family, a larger SUV or roomy minivan might be a smart choice. If gas mileage is a major factor for you, don’t forget about the excellent efficiency of modern hybrid vehicles. Of course, efficiency is one of the key factors for many car shoppers in today’s market, along with affordability and reliability, so don’t overlook these important qualities as you create your checklist.

Set a Budget

To avoid spending more than you can handle, prepare a budget for your next car and stick to it. If you’re wondering how to set a budget for a new car, remember the conventional wisdom that transportation expenses should be no more than 15 percent of your monthly income. By keeping that rule in mind, you should be able to narrow your options to models that work comfortably with your current finances.

Consider All Automotive Costs

As you weigh your options with your budget in mind, be sure to account for the true cost of ownership. Vehicles cost more than the number you see on the price tag, so don’t forget to plan to pay regular maintenance costs, fuel expenses, car insurance, and interest on the auto loan.

Take a Test Drive

For an investment as big as your next vehicle, it pays to know exactly what you’re getting. That’s why you should test drive your top two or three options to see just how they fit with your goals and needs. Contact the dealership to schedule your test drives, as calling ahead will give the dealer time to ensure the vehicles are ready to go. During the test drive, analyze your experience with questions like these:

  • Do you like the way it handles, accelerates, and performs in general?
  • Is the ride comfortable enough for you and your passengers?
  • Are you comfortable with the steering and brakes?
  • Do you have good visibility on all sides of the vehicle?

Getting an Auto Loan

It’s common for car shoppers to finance their purchase with an auto loan, as financing allows you to buy the model you want without paying the full amount all at once. When you apply for an auto loan, you’ll provide potential lenders with important details about your income and credit, and they’ll use that info to determine how much money they’ll let you borrow to complete the purchase. You’ll then repay the auto loan plus interest via monthly installments, and loan terms are usually set for 36, 48, or 60 months.

Lenders may offer various auto loan options for specific situations. If you’re buying your first vehicle, you might qualify for a first-time car-buyers loan, which could let you take advantage of waived application fees and a lower down payment. Other loan types might connect you with lower interest rates or other perks, so be sure to ask about what options are available to you. If you have a vehicle that you’re looking to replace, you can use its trade-in value to bolster your down payment, so get a free appraisal online with our Value Your Trade feature to see how a trade-in can work for you.

How to Choose the Right Car

After you’ve researched your options and test-driven the top contenders, it’s time to make a decision. If each of the finalists delivers the essentials you’re looking for, then it may come down to the simple details or personal preferences. Does one have an appearance or interior layout that appeals to your tastes? Is there one option with features or capabilities that give it an edge? Try to picture yourself driving each option for years to come and ask yourself which one you believe you’ll enjoy driving day after day.

Find Your Next Vehicle at Mike Shaw Kia

When it’s time to start the engine for your new vehicle, you’ll find it for a low price here at Mike Shaw Kia. Call or come see us to see what our team of automotive experts can do for you. We look forward to working with you step by step at 6802 S. Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412.

Mike Shaw Kia 27.697490, -97.347780.