You have done quite a bit of the preliminary research and know what you can afford, and what type of vehicle will best serve you. However, before venturing out to start the test drive phase, contact your insurance agent to get an estimate on how much your new policy will cost. You may receive a rate different than what you expected, which could change your focus on the type of vehicle to purchase.  Many times, that sports car you want will also carrry a higher overall policy price.  There are many services out there who will get you a price quote online. We highly recommend you check GEICO or Progressive Insurance companies. They offer some of the best rates in the industry, as well as good online tools for getting an idea of the cost for your propective vehicle.