Purchasing a new car is amazing! Just imagine being behind a wheel, listening to a powerful engine, driving for hours and hours with nothing but the road in front of you. There’s nothing more liberating than putting the pedal to the metal and feeling like a real man. However, even the realest of men need to think about money and can’t buy just any car they see. If you’re looking for ways to buy a car on a budget, here are a few helpful tips.
Define the Budget
First of all, define exactly how much money you have. Once you determine the number, start searching for the best option you can afford. Nevertheless, keep in mind that your car money is just for your car and don’t spend it on groceries or bills. Since you’ll have to pay for various taxes, fees and warranties, define your budget and don’t forget that the true cost of owning a car is much higher than the sticker price.
Invest What You Have
If you already own a car, use it as a down payment for a newer model – it’s not like you’ll be driving it after you get a new one. A down payment significantly affects your costs and if you manage to make your down payment higher, your monthly payment will be lower. Moreover, this is a great way to get rid of your old vehicle. That way, you’ll be ready to start fresh and save some money in the process.
Month After Month
If you financial situation is unstable, make projections and figure out how much you’ll be able to spend on your car in the future. Think about gas, insurance, maintenance and registration – not being able to afford these expenses can turn out to be a major problem. A great way to determine how much you can spend on your car is the 20/4/10 rule. According to it, you should put down 20% of the car’s value, spend about 10% of your monthly income on expenses, and complete the financing process in under four years. This doesn’t work for everyone, of course, but might help you stay afloat.
Maintaining on a Budget
After purchasing a cheap car, you can continue saving money on smaller expenses. Instead of buying brand new tires and seat covers, use the ones from your old car. If you plan ahead, you can save a lot even on essential things – using Nulon engine oil, for example, instead of other brands means you’ll be getting a high-quality product and the absolutely best value for your money.
If you’re purchasing a new car, yet still want to save a dollar or two, plan a visit to the dealership carefully. Most companies offer discounts from time to time and lots of people hence buy cars in December, at the end-of-the-year sale, or in the summer, just before new and expensive models are introduced. Try looking for slightly damaged cars, too: a few scratches here and there don’t mean anything, but will lower the price significantly.
Ask for Help
Getting all the help you can get is essential. You are probably not an expert, but you surely know someone with more experience. Ask your brother, father, neighbor or friend to come along and take their opinion into consideration. A knowledgeable car enthusiast will tell you how to pick the right model and help you stick to your budget.
Don’t Trust the Salesman
Even though salesmen are supposed to assist you, not everyone is as honest as you might think. Remember: the more money they take from you, the higher their salary is, so be very careful. Ask questions, especially when getting a used car, but don’t fall for their tricks – and they surely know lots of ways to trick you. So, don’t be gullible, but stay strong and determined!
Save More Money
Once you get the perfect car, find out how to save money in the future. Finding affordable parts, saving money on gas by carpooling, and avoiding damages and frequent repairs will certainly do the trick.