When it comes to buying a new car, one of the financial aspects that is rarely considered is the buyer’s brand loyalty. while those who have brand loyalty to a certain auto manufacturer do so for a variety of reasons, being brand loyal when it comes to car purchases can end up costing you quite a bit of money over your lifetime. Part of this reason is because there has been a great amount of change when it comes to car manufacturers over the years (as you can see in this infographic at moneysupermarket.com which shows how the entire industry has dramatically changed since it’s inception, but especially in the last 50 years), and this ever-changing dynamic means that being brand loyal can often hurt your pocketbook in the long run.
While it’s certainly important to take into account your past experience with certain car manufacturers, this shouldn’t be the only factor you use when you decide to purchase a new car. By limiting your car choices to a certain brand and not considering all the other potential vehicles that might fill your needs, you may be missing out on a vehicle that does everything that you want, but is much less expensive.
It’s definitely worth the time to do your research, and part of doing quality research is to look at all the options that are available to you rather than just the brand that you have preferred in the past. This doesn’t mean that you’re preferred brand won’t come out on top, but by discounting all other manufacturers before you even begin to look creates a situation where there is a good possibility that you’ll end up spending more than you need to get the vehicle that you want. There are a lot of great places where you can compare cars, but one of the best of them is consumerreports.org.
Another handy tool which can end up saving you a lot of money is the “True Cost to Own” tool from edmunds.com. This tool is advantageous because it doesn’t look solely at the price of the car, but it also takes into account the cost associated with the car over the lifetime of its use. This is important because sometimes a car that is more expensive at the retail level may end up saving you money over the entire life of the car through reduced maintenance costs, lower insurance rates, and better gas mileage. Much like being brand loyal, only looking at the retail price of the car can end up costing you more because it doesn’t take into account all the costs associated with the car over its lifetime.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t buy from a brand that has been reliable and you have enjoyed in the past. It’s merely to point out that when you become brand loyal and stop considering other options, you put yourself in a position where there’s a good chance that you’ll end up paying more than you would if you were more flexible and considered all the different opportunities that are out there.
(photo courtesy of Miala)