Consider How Much Down Payment You Can Afford
Before hitting the showrooms and shopping for vehicles online, it’s important to have a good idea of how much down payment you’ll be able to afford on a car. This will determine the options you have that fit your price range. When calculating your down payment you should put down approximately 10% on a used vehicle and 20% on a new one. Afterward, you can also shop around for the best financing deals available in your price range. Use financing as a last resort. The most ideal is to pay cash.
Pay Cash for Your New Car
One great way to often save big when buying a new car is to pay for it in cash. The fact that the value of a car depreciates right after the purchase means that it’s a poor long-term investment, but a necessary one for most. Of course, the best option is to pay cash upfront, but, for most, this isn’t always an option. f it’s one for you, then certainly consider it. Not only do many car dealerships offer cash discounts, but it will also mean you’ll avoid having to pay any interest as you would if leasing your vehicle.
Budget Car-Related Expenses In Our Personal Finance Software
Have you thought about the expenses buying a new car will incur? It’s important to budget for these expenses, and one of the best ways is by using personal finance software that can help you separate the needs from the wants. For example, using an online budgeting tool can help you plan for car payments, insurance, maintenance costs, gas/charging costs, and more. If you haven’t bought your new car yet and wonder how much some of these factors will cost you, Consumer Reports is a great place to start getting an idea of car-related expenses. Try CalendarBudget and get to your goals 10x faster. Here is what our customers say…
Sell or Trade Your Current Car
Another great way to save some money on a new or used vehicle is by selling or trading in the one you currently have. If you’re not sure how much it’s worth, there are several appraisal tools out there that will help you determine the selling price of your vehicle. Even if your old car was totaled, you might be able to easily pay for a new one with the insurance you received.
You wouldn’t buy the first home you looked at in a neighborhood without at least comparing the prices of a few other houses in the area, right? Well, buying a new or used vehicle is no different. Don’t jump at the first offer. Often, cheap prices are too good to be true. That’s why carefully comparing and contrasting the prices of different vehicles is essential for getting the best deal. It can also provide advantages while negotiating the final price. This is especially true if a dealership’s competitor is offering a better deal, but the one you’re negotiating with wants your business. Consider asking for free oil changes or an extended warranty at the final stages to sweeten the deal for yourself.
Don’t Be Afraid to Haggle
Vehicles are rarely bought and sold at showroom price. This is because of add-ons and other factors, like your credit rating, that can affect the cost of a vehicle. But you should never be afraid to haggle on the price of a car you really want; after all, the salesperson wants their commission. Before purchasing, inspect any vehicle carefully for minor flaws or issues. Often you can shave off at least a few hundred dollars by doing so.
It’s rare for someone to visit a car dealership and drive home in a new vehicle the same day. Many things affect the sale of a car, like whether you need financing options. Some dealerships offer financing programs, but they might not always be the best option for you. Additionally, your credit score may affect the price of your vehicle, and you may decide to take a bit of time to build up your credit before buying a new car. Again, this is where using personal finance software can come in handy, as it provides reminders of when your bills are due. Also, being willing to walk away from a deal can trigger deeper discounts.
Always Read the Fine Print
Buying a new or used car can be a very exciting time, but it’s important that you don’t rush when reading through your loan contract at the dealership. This helps you not miss some important things that could cost you an arm and a leg down the road. Did you know that you can be subject to penalties for paying your car off faster? It’s true. Some dealerships have this clause written into the loan contract. Additionally, there may be upgrades and add-on packages you can take advantage of or that you’ve requested, and you need to make sure they’re still there. Carefully reading your loan is the only surefire way you can be certain you get exactly the car that you want.
Consider Buying a Used Vehicle
We’ve all heard that a new car’s value depreciates the second you drive it off the lot, and unfortunately, it’s true. However, when you buy used vehicles, even last year’s models, you can get much better deals. Plus, you’ll pay less insurance, and believe it or not, maintenance costs might even be less. Many new vehicles have recalls or take a few months to work the kinks out of them.
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