Buying a car shouldn’t feel like a dangerous experience. Unfortunately, we often get so caught up in the excitement of choosing a new vehicle, that we can forget to be cautious about the decisions we make. For some people, this can lead to problems with finance that mean they’re giving their vehicle up only a couple of weeks after they bought it.
The good news is that your trip to a car dealership doesn’t have to be a painful experience. As long as you’re informed, and educated about what you need, and how much money you have to spend, you should be on the right track to making an informed choice about your options. Here, we’ll look at five things you’ll need to consider, before you buy that new car.
Budget will always be one of the most important considerations you need to keep in mind when buying a new vehicle. Remember, “what you can afford” isn’t necessarily limited to the amount of money you have for a down payment. You’ll also need to think about how much you can reasonably spend on a monthly basis, what the insurance is going to cost you, and how much you’ll need to pay on tax for your car.
Keep all the different expenses in mind when you’re tallying up your total, and remember to consider things that might add to affordability too. For instance, if you’re trading your old car in towards a new one, how much will that take off the grand sum you need for finance? You can use online websites to get a general idea of your old car’s value to get you started.
For some people, buying a car will always be a better option than paying for a lease. If you’re on a lease, you’re constantly making car payments, whereas when you buy a car, you know exactly what the price is going to be. Lease terms can be confusing too, which adds extra complication to the mix when you’re trying to make sure that you’re getting a good deal.
Unless you have a good reason for choosing a lease, like you’re buying a car for business purposes, and you can deduct the lease payments from your taxes, then you should probably stick to buying if you can. Usually, the same monthly payment on a personal car loan will get you a nicer vehicle than a lease.
There’s a good chance you’ve already heard the saying that a new car loses its value the instant you drive it off the lot. Since that’s true, you might consider opting for a used car, instead of a new one, when you’re looking for ways to save money. A car that’s a couple of years old will still feel as good as new, and it could save you thousands of dollars too.
To avoid getting stuck with an old car that doesn’t work as it should, make sure that you look for a vehicle that’s still under factory warranty. You can also consider buying your used car from a dealer that’s been in business for some time, as this will help to keep problems to a minimum if something goes wrong only a few weeks or months after you drive your vehicle away.
Before you invest in any car, new or old, you need to know exactly what you’re getting into. Take the time to sit down in front of your computer and learn everything you can about the model that you’re thinking of buying. That means looking at things like how many miles you can get for the gallon, and what you’re going to need to pay on your insurance premiums. The more research you do, the less chances you have of nasty surprises after you’ve made your payments.
While you’re looking online for information, remember to check customer reviews to find out whatever you can about how reliable the car is overall. You can typically find plenty of people posting their opinions about vehicles online, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about walking into the dealership feeling clueless.
Finally, it’s all well and good knowing how much money you need to borrow if you want to be able to afford your new car, but that’s not going to help you much if you have no idea whether you’re going to be accepted for a loan. Rather than waiting until you get to the dealership to find out your credit score, take the initiative and check up on your rating before you get there.
Remember, the last thing you want is for multiple people to run your credit and leave black marks all over your report. Getting ahead of the game and checking your score yourself will also mean you can fix any errors before you ask for finance.