Buying a car is a big commitment – take our quiz to find out whether you’re ready to buy your own car or stick with public transportation for now.
So you’re thinking of buying a car? Whether you’re tired of your daily transit commute, or just looking to get that extra level of independence there are many perks to having a car at your disposal. But, there are also many downsides to consider before you head out to the dealership with your hard earned money.
1. Your daily commute to work consists of:
a. Over an hour each way on public transportation.
b. Probably about half an hour, and the weather usually determines what your mode of transportation is.
c. You have no commute because you work from home.
2. Your weekend plans usually involve:
a. Out of town travel visiting friends or relatives.
b. You like to leave your options open and spontaneous.
c. You mostly stick close to home.
3. Your “in case of emergency” money is:
a. Well stocked and always being added to.
b. In pretty good condition, but it better not be a big emergency.
c. Non-existent. You might have spent the last of it on take-out last week – it was an emergency!
4. The last time you took a car out for a long trip, the items in your trunk were:
a. An emergency kit with flashlight, food, spare tire, jack and jumper cables.
b. A flashlight and a spare tire, but you wouldn’t know how to change a tire if it came down to it.
c. Your bag of clothes and a few cases of beer for the party you were headed to.
5. If the engine light was flashing, you would:
a. Pull over at the nearest service centre, pop the hood and pull out your tools.
b. Pull over at the nearest service centre, you’re pretty sure that can’t be good.
c. Not really notice, wasn’t that light always flashing?
6. Weather calls for snow tomorrow, you plan to:
a. Leave extra early, and wish for the millionth time that you had a car.
b. Instead of riding your bike you decide to hop on the subway instead.
c. Stay at home, who goes out in this anyway.
7. Your idea of buying a car is:
a. Researching your choices thoroughly, visiting many different car lots and talking to people who have purchased the car you are interested in.
b. Taking a look at a few different car lots and then making your decision quickly (and mainly based on the non-essentials like colour and leather seats).
c. You see it, you want it, you buy it. It’s always worked well in the past.
8. Based on the car you have in mind, your monthly payments would total:
a. Probably about five per cent of your monthly income, you have a good down payment socked away.
b. About 20 per cent of your monthly income, it’s a bit of a stretch, but you can do it.
c. About 30 per cent of your monthly income, and this might mean skipping some other bills.
9. How much driving experience do you have?:
a. Got your license the moment you turned the legal age and have even owned a car before.
b. Have had your license for awhile but have never owned a car.
c. I have a learner’s permit but I plan to get my full license when I need a car.
10. If you were handed the money tomorrow to buy a car, you would get:
a. Something well built, comfortable and good on gas.
b. Something well built, great to look at and a little pricey.
c. Something outrageously expensive and the shinier the better!
Mostly A’s: You should Buy A Car.
Responsible and mature, you are at the right stage of your life to buy or lease your own car. You have thought about the pros and cons carefully and you are well prepared both personally and financially to handle the day-to-day life of having a car.
Mostly B’s: You should Try Sharing A Car.
While you feel you are ready to be a car owner and you have some of the major issues thought out it isn’t essential to your lifestyle that you own your own car. You should try out a car sharing program like Zipcar or AutoShare. Allowing you the freedom to go pretty much where you want, when you want, and for minimal cost, these services give you freedom without the hassle of worrying about maintenance and sudden expenses.
Mostly C’s: You should Not Buy a Car.
Cars are huge money pits that absorb a lot of money, so if you’re not prepared financially you may find yourself swimming in debt. You should consider borrowing a friend’s car the next time you need to hit the road or renting a car on an as-need basis.