Out of all the products you’ll ever buy in your lifetime, there’s no doubt that your car will be one of the most expensive of all. However, that doesn’t mean that you should simply lie down and accept that it’s going to bite a huge chunk out of your budget.
Here, we’re going to look at how to better navigate the car market, be in a better position to buy, and ensure you’re getting the deal you deserve. Most importantly, you’re going to get a deal that makes sense for your budget.
The credit conundrum
Buying a car is often the first time that someone will have a meaningful encounter with their own credit, since it’s often the first loan they have to take out. Learning about your credit is key to getting a good deal. Having a good credit score doesn’t affect the price of the car itself, but it does impact how much interest is going to be added when you’re paying it off through a car loan.
Taking a look at your credit score with Totally Money, checking your report for erroneous reports, and ensuring you’re current on all loans and debts can help improve your score. As such, you can reduce how much you pay for your car month on month.
Choosing the right one
New and shiny might be attractive, but it’s rarely the best deal that you’re going to get. You might hear horror stories of people buying clunkers off the private market but sticking to reputable dealerships can help you avoid all that. A used Range Rover Sport from as recent as last year is still going to be significantly cheaper. As soon as something is pre-owned, it loses a large chunk of its value.
When looking at cars, think about how their long-term costs factor into your budget. A good mile per gallon is one factor, but you can also use online reliability checkers to see how likely you are to have to pay for replacement parts, too.
Does negotiation work?
As silver tongued as you might think you are, you’re not likely to get as much knocked off the price as you might imagine. A car price is usually set by the dictation of the market, not how well you can barter. Buying at the right time of year, such as buying a convertible in winter when it’s less likely to sell, can result in a better price but you might not have the time to wait around as much.
Otherwise, getting a good deal is about being savvy as to what you do and don’t need. Do your research on which optional extras are worth the investment, and don’t be afraid to say no to a deal that doesn’t work for your budget.
With the tips above, you should have a better idea of what goes into the price of a vehicle, how to ensure you get the best loan, and, most importantly, how to manage those costs in the long-term.