Saving money whenever and wherever you can is a good thing.
Not only does it make life a lot more comfortable, ensuring you have money put aside for emergencies, but it helps keep you from stressing about how you’re going to pay for whatever pops up.
Plus it just feels good to know you’re not wasting money when you don’t have to be.
But how do you save money you need to buy a car?
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For some families, a car is an absolute necessity. If your car starts to fail, not only is it inconvenient, it could even be dangerous.
A car on its last legs can be a major inconvenience if it’s your only way to get the kids to school or yourself to work.
But it can also be a scary and dangerous situation depending what problems surface.
When my last car started nearing the end of its life the engine literally cut out on me twice while in traffic. One of those times on the interstate!
While it’s usually cheaper to get your car fixed, eventually you’ll get to a point where the repairs aren’t cost-effective and buying a new car is the only option.
Start saving now so you’ll be prepared for that moment. Ideally, you’ll have a sinking fund for car maintenance as well as a new car fund.
If you’re already in the market for a new car because your current one is out of commission, you’ll probably be in a hurry.
But rushing into a purchase without doing your research may lead you to make an expensive mistake.
Decide On A Budget And Stick To It
Buying a new car can be exciting, but before you get carried away, make sure you determine your budget before you do any shopping.
There’s no point in searching around and finding something perfect only to find out it’s out of your price range.
Having your finances in place before you start shopping will not just prevent disappointment but also help you narrow down your search.
Plus, knowing what you can afford before you start looking will keep temptation at bay.
It’s easy to get swept away by all the new features and options, so make sure you’re shopping with a spending cap in mind if you want to save money.
Research the Best Time to Buy
Typically, the best time of year to buy a new car is towards the end of the year when dealers are trying to offload last year’s models to make room for next year’s.
You can also usually find deals around major holidays. Though you’ll want to do the research to make sure those sales are actually sales.
Sstart tracking the pricing of the models you’re looking at so you can how any holiday deals compare.
If you’re in a bind and can’t wait for a certain time of year to buy, you can also look at buying certain types of cars when they’re not in demand.
For example, convertibles are in demand in the summer and may cost more if you buy during that time.
But if you’re in the market for a convertible and can buy it during the winter, you may get a deal.
Similarly, all-terrain vehicles and those with 4-wheel drive may cost more in the winter as people look for vehicles that can handle snow and muddy roads.
Even if you’re not a born negotiator, approaching the purchasing process with the right attitude can save you a ton. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Always be prepared to walk away from a sale, regardless of how much you like the car.
- Once you have a make and model in mind, call or search online for any deals within driving distance. You may not actually have to travel farther to get a better deal if your local dealer is willing to match a lower price.
- Some dealers may not have a lot of wiggle room on the purchase price of a car, but they can give you a better rate on your trade-in to balance things out. Even if you think your current car isn’t worth anything, you may be able to use it in negotiations. My last car had a failing transmission and I still negotiated a higher trade-in.
- Used cars may be easier to negotiate due to demand being lower and dealers wanting to reserve lot space for the higher ticket items.
- Don’t be afraid to pit dealers against each other. Just like with a mortgage, you can take your offers back and forth until someone refuses to budge.
Negotiation is an art and you might not feel comfortable about doing it, but it’s a great way to save money and make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Plus, you really have nothing to lose. Either you get some concessions and save money, or you’re right where you started.
Don’t Forget to Budget for the Extras
Buying a car isn’t just about the car itself, even though that’s the part that’s going to take up most of your thinking.
Don’t forget there are extra costs to consider including insurance, registration, tax, and gas.
Make sure these costs are included in your budget, especially if you plan to take on monthly payments.
While you may not be able to do much about gas prices or the cost of registration and taxes, you can shop around for insurance to save some money.
You might find that, once you discover a car insurance price list, you can work with providers to reduce your insurance costs.
The more you can save on insurance, the more you’ll have to spend on your car, or the more you’ll have to put into your savings for future use.
Either way, saving money on the extras that go along with your car is almost as important as saving money on the car itself.
Plus, the longer you have the car, the more important savings in this area will become.
Buying a car can be an exciting and daunting experience.
As long as you go into the process prepared for what to expect and aware of your financial goals and limitations you’ll come away successful.
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