Thinking of buying another car? You’ll find quite a number of good deals, not just from car dealers who are willing to slash prices or offer freebies, but also from banks who are more than happy to give you a car loan with very friendly terms. But no matter how wonderful the deal may be, buying a car is still a major expense—and in this economy, you can’t afford to throw money away. Here are some tips on how to save money when buying a car.
Why do you need to buy a new car?
Before you shop around, ask this question again and again. The cheapest car in the market is the car you already own and paid for. So reconsider your reasons for buying another car or replacing the one you have. Remember the value of any car begins to go down the minute you drive it out of the car dealership. So obviously it’s not going to earn you any more money—so what value will you get from it?
Are you tired of the car? Can any problems be repaired? How much will It cost to restore it to mint condition? A new car makes sense if your old car keeps breaking down, and it’s more financially sound to buy a new car that’s more convenient and reliable than spending a lot of money on repetitive repairs.
Do you need to buy a brand new car?
Consider buying a second hand car that’s a late model, with low mileage and is well maintained. Ask a mechanic to take a look at a car you’re eyeing—pay him for his time, if you have to. Also be wary of any repainted portions of the car that could indicate that it’s been in an accident. Look under the car and check for rust.
How much can you get from selling your current car?
You can cover part of the cost of buying a new car by selling the one you have. Try to sell it privately rather than trading it in at the car dealership, who will give you far less money for it. Have the car washed and waxed before showing it to potential buyers. This extra effort could get you as much as a thousand dollars more on the final selling price.
If you’re buying new, what model should you get?
Avoid buying the newest model as it rolls off the factory. Buy an end of the year clearance model, or even a rental car. Experts say that the best time to get a good discount is December and January when dealers hold their annual sales. You can also save a lot of money and still get quality by buying a smaller car or the budget model rather than the luxury model of the same car company. Also consider things like gas mileage or availability of spare parts which all affect the daily cost of using and maintaining the car.
Photo from usmusclecarparts.com