If your family car is on its last leg, you’re probably in the market for a new car. And with the multitude of other family obligations you likely have, keeping the cost affordable is a priority. Of course, this is much easier said than done. A car salesman may recommend vehicles outside your budget, and if you allow yourself to be up-sold, this can create a financial hardship.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to buy a car and save money in the process. With just a little knowledge and a bit of fortitude, you can help ensure that you don’t overspend when you go to visit the local car dealerships. Consider the following five effective money saving tips:
New isn’t always better. Several car dealerships have an excellent selection of well maintained used cars. Check out www.priority1cars.com pre-owned specials and search for vehicles in your price range. Used cars not only cost less, they also hold their value longer. This helps avoid an upside down car loan.
Consider Vehicle Maintenance
Even if you can afford a luxury or more expensive automobile, it is important to consider long-term vehicle costs. Parts for a luxury car are often more expensive, as is routine maintenance such as oil changes and new tires. Additionally, it can cost more to insure these vehicles. Think beyond the car payment and consider other expenses.
Don’t only focus on the price of the car. Your interest rate is equally important, as this plays a role in your monthly payment. Negotiating the price of the car is only one aspect of financing. Get an auto loan quote from local banks and credit unions, and compare these rates with the dealer’s finance package. You have some control over your interest rate. A good credit score, a down payment and choosing a three or four-year finance term typically justifies the best rates on a car loan.
Consider waiting until the end of the year. Patience can have a tremendous impact on your pocket. Postpone buying a car until the latter part of the year and you can save money. This is typically when dealerships receive shipments of the newest car models. In an effort to free up space and unload the previous year’s models, dealers host year-end sales. Granted, the selection of vehicles may be limited if you wait. But if you’re flexible and not looking for a particular car, this is an excellent way to save.
Sell Your Car Yourself
Trade-ins are convenient and easy. But if you’re expecting the dealer to give the highest value for your trade-in, you’re sadly mistaken. In most cases, you’re better off selling the car yourself. A dealership might offer $9,000 for your trade-in, yet the private party value of your car may be around $11,000. The more cash you get for your old car, the more you can put toward your new car.
Don’t let a new car purchase break the bank and take all your extra cash. This is a three, four or five-year commitment. And before signing your name, it is important that you assess whether you can afford the monthly expense.