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Steps For Buying A Car

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About a year and a half ago I found myself in the market for a car. I had moved from Baltimore to Austin car less. In Texas, I found it to be extremely difficult to get around without a car. This brought me to the purchase of a 2005 Toyota Corolla.

The five steps in the decision making process needed to decide what to do in my situation includes; 1) Problem recognition, 2)Information search, 3)Evaluation of alternatives, 4)Product choice, and 5)Post purchase evaluation. I was tired of the poor mass transportation in Texas, a car would give me more freedom and time. I needed a car! During my information search, I asked my friends in Austin (Rebekah and Dan) why they chose the cars they have. We looked online at car maker websites such as Mazda, Toyota, Honda and Nissan. Dan pulled up which helped them in their decisions. I also spoke to my friend in Corpus Christi who had recently bought a Toyota Tacoma. For further information, I called my dad and asked him what he thought about the cars out there. He had been car shopping himself. He had bought all of the car comparison magazines including Car and Driver, Consumer Reports, etc. When I was evaluating the alternatives or evaluating criteria, I finally narrowed it down to the Toyota Corolla, Toyota Tacoma, and Honda Civic. I proceeded to write down the pros and cons of each automobile. Finally, in the fourth decision step, I decided on the Toyota Corolla. The car pretty much sold itself. I liked the car since it had great gas mileage, was visually appealing, reliable, and great acceleration for a manual 4 kicker. The interior looks like it belongs in a more expensive car, and ability to seat 4 adults comfortably. Often times, after I have made a purchase I start feeling buyers guilt. Why did I buy this? I can't afford this! This is a want not a need! What am I thinking? etc. After this purchase though I had a very positive post purchase evaluation. I would be lying if I said I was worried about the money, but this was a realistic need. I found myself looking out the window to look at the car. I would even go outside to get a better look at my car. I found myself offering to run errands for people just so I can take my car for a drive. I was exceedingly happy with my purchase.

There were many internal influences in the decision making process of my purchase. Perception: I was under the perception that Toyota made high quality, reliable, long lasting, low maintenance automobiles. Motivation: I wanted to buy a car so that I could attain more freedom and stop relying on others (mass transportation, friends, or family). A car could get me to work, I could run errands, spend time out by myself, etc. The old Corollas were not very attractive to me. Learning: I had learned however that the car was redesigned in 2004 and became a much more attractive car with updated styling. This ruled out however buying a Corolla in 2003 or earlier. By the time I was ready to buy, I could not find a 2004 that fit my criteria. Personality: I guess my personality assisted in the selection of the car to buy as well. I like to try new things but I also find comfort in the known. I am not a very sociable person. I tend to look at practicality over flashy for the most part. I also prefer to hold off on buying something if possible to get what (I believe) is the best quality. I believe better quality tends to equal long term reliability. Lifestyle: Although a SUV fits my lifestyle and personality more, I just could not afford one. I lean towards being an athletic outdoors type of person. There are a couple of accessories that



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