Buying a car is exciting and stressful. It is also a large personal expense that can have a negative impact on your budget. Like most people, you probably bought based on your emotional attachment to a certain style or brand, and as a result, might be able to barely afford the payment. Here are a few ways you can save money with your current car or when you are in the market.
Stay within your budget
Before you go to an auto dealership, you should know how much you are willing to spend for a vehicle and how much monthly payments you can afford. Don’t be fooled by a $0 down payment deal. Making a down payment helps to lower your monthly payments. Also, if you have a $25,000 budget, you should look for a vehicle that is around $20,000. Once taxes and fees are added, you will end up at around $25,000. If you get a vehicle starting at $25,000, then you will be over your budget once taxes and fees are added to your final cost.
You are required by law to have car insurance. It is a major expense, but there are ways for you to save money and still receive quality coverage. First, you can save money on your monthly premiums by increasing your deductible. Second, bundle your auto insurance with other insurance products like homeowner’s insurance. A third way to save money on insurance is to buy a car with a high safety rating, low repair costs, and low rates of being stolen. Be sure you compare many auto insurance quotes before selecting your policy.
Go the Pre-Owned Route
A vehicle is not an investment. A vehicle’s value rapidly depreciates once you drive it off the dealership’s lot. If you are like most people who just need a vehicle to get from point A to point B, then you can save a lot of money by getting a used car. In most cases, warranties on used vehicles are as good as warranties on new vehicles. Be sure to get a used vehicle that has been fully inspected from a reputable dealership.
Buy the right vehicle
You want to impress your friends with a new vehicle, but do you need a large SUV if you’re single with no kids? Do you need a large pickup truck if you work in an office and live in an apartment or condo? Do you need an expensive car sports car if you are fresh out of college with a six-figure student loan debt? You should buy a vehicle that fits your current lifestyle and not the lifestyle you wish to have or may have in the future. Buying the right vehicle also coincides with staying within your budget.
Properly maintaining your vehicle will save you a lot of money in repair costs and gas expenses. Be sure to get full-service oil changes and multi-point inspections on a regular basis. This will help to prevent major problems from happening to your vehicle. It will also help to extend the life of your vehicle.