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The Psychology of Car Shopping

Updated on May 18, 2020

Lovable Cars

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Preface to Narrative

I still remember my college music harmony 101 (music was my initial aspiration...) professor, Dan (as we lovingly called him...), once told me, "I'd never give advice to anyone on what career they should or shouldn't pursue." He explained, "what if things don't work out for that person? He/she will come to me one day and blame me for their unsuccessful career of choice, and for my lack of vision."

Advice on What Car You Should Purchase

My Mom once said, "let's face it, women are smarter than men are." For the sake of argument, I'll say I facetiously agree with her proposition. I agree women are typically more responsible when it comes to car shopping than guys are, because us guys are mostly about looks, and that's how they usually get us in car dealerships, hook, line and sinker.... All said, and all which can be said, if you're a woman, chances are your father, husband, brother, male cousins, etc., etc., etc., will try and give you unsolicited advice on what car you should or shouldn't purchase. And, whether or not to purchase the vehicle new or used? Men are under pressure by their buddies to purchase a specific car, so their friends will give them "thumbs up" on their choice. Peer pressure can get you into a lot of trouble. Remember, at the end of the day, you're the one who needs to have enough money to pay for your bills. Your friends may love you, but it's your responsibility to pay your debt. FYI: you'll find that oftentimes cars don't cost that much less purchased used vs. new.

Good Advice

Let me tell you something, there's no such thing as "good advice." If you've lived but a day in this world, you've experienced the truism of this statement. However, the one thing I can attest to when it comes to this proposition, is that you'll regret more the things that you didn't do, than the things you did. So, summation, listen to what others tell you and always remain polite, but at the end of the day it'll be up to you to make the final decision.

Price

Money is the most powerful hypothetical that we'll ever encounter throughout our lives. The Audi R8 on this article's photo is approx. $225k dollars; however, there are Audi's which go for about $40k dollars, so it's all relative. The Audi is a beautiful car, and there are many affordable models available, even if their upscale models start at around $75k dollars or thereabouts. Point being, you can purchase a good looking car for around $35k or so.

Safety

This has been a topic of conversation "till the cows come home," as they say. You'll see TV commercials showing a car that looks like it was in the midst of a nuclear holocaust. Narrator then says, "the child's parents feel good that they made the right choice in a car by having purchased a ____".... Well, you get my drift. The truth of it is, that no one knows what the future holds; tomorrow is not promised to anyone. That said, today many automotive brands have improved on safety and other gadgets. Used to be if you wanted safety, you'd purchase a Volvo; if you wanted great handling, you'd purchase an Audi; if you wanted good looks, you'd purchase a Jaguar. Today, a lot of cars look much better than ever before, and manufacturers have improved on looks, safety, handling, etc. So, you can purchase a relatively good vehicle for much less money than what a Volvo, Audi, or Jaguar costs. Unless you can afford the aforementioned? Then, hey, all the more power to you!

Handling

Used to be years ago, the Audi was unbeatable, because many were 'all wheel drive'. Until that is, Subaru started selling 'all wheel drive' for much less money. Of course, German cars look awesome, and Subaru's weren't very good looking years ago. However, today's Subaru's look very nice, and their owners love and swear by them. BMW, Audi, Porsche, are among the more illustrious contenders when you hear people say, "great handling cars," but they're not the only ones available nowadays. In fact, today, there are many cars costing $20-30k whose handling would impress even the most serious automotive connoisseurs. So, you don't need to purchase a $200k Audi or Porsche for good handling. And, to reiterate, there are Audi's which cost $50k or so and look and handle great; there are Porsche's SUV that cost $60k or so and they also look and handle great. A lot of automobiles to choose from these days.

Purchase

Once you've decided on what you want, --go for it! Don't be afraid of paying a few thousand dollars for the car you want, vs. less money for a vehicle that doesn't fancy you. Dealerships can be stressful, so make sure you show up tranquil and ready to negotiate and walk out with the vehicle of your dreams.

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