Did you buy a cassette adapter to listen to music on your car radio? Are you embarrassed to park too close at work? Do your windows actually roll up? Yeah, it’s time for an upgrade. But who has the money to buy a car? Especially not a shiny new car with air conditioning and Bluetooth.
Everyone’s on a budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drive something you feel confident in. With simple tools and smart shopping, anyone can be the owner of a new car.
- Out with the Old
The first step in upgrading your ride is finding the cash to put down upfront. And, for most people, this means taking out a loan. It’s a great idea to sell a car you’re unhappy with if you don’t have the cash. But, for someone new to car sales, it can be difficult to navigate the market. Because dealerships have a larger inventory, their trade-ins can be great for someone looking to reduce their initial costs.
- Get Smart About Loans
If you need an auto loan, you can get pre-approved through your dealership online. Nothing is set in stone until you sign on the line, and it’ll save you a lot of time. Look for low interest rates and check to see if auto-payment is an option. Financing with a dealership streamlines the buying process and keeps you from running in and out of the bank, but there are different auto loan options available.
- Budget, But Be Bougie
Planning begins at preparing a realistic budget. What can you really afford, and what is reasonable? Start by calculating how much you’re willing to pay each month at your current wage. The goal should be to pay off the loan in about three years or thirty-six months. Paying off a car may be intimidating, but with good planning, you can raise your credit!
After you have made a realistic plan and have pulled funds together, your search begins.
- Be Practical, But Don’t Settle
Buying a new car can be much safer than buying used. Not only will the car have fewer miles on it, but there will also be a warranty to protect your vehicle. There will also be no upfront repairs and fewer repairs for the first several years, which means less money coming out of your pocket. And, you may even be financed at a lower interest rate if you’re planning on buying a new car.
You can also buy a car with lower emissions, higher fuel economy, and better features compared to earlier models. You could save a substantial amount of money with higher MPG on newer model years. However, if used cars are better suited to your budget, opt for pre-certified options, and ask the dealership for a vehicle history report.
Choosing a car in your budget means knowing your absolute must-haves. Don’t be ashamed to make something like Bluetooth connectivity a priority: you’re buying it! After you have those requirements met, then you can start getting picky about make or color.
- Finding the One
Choosing the right car in a sea of asphalt and shiny paint jobs is exhausting unless you know exactly what you want. Instead of focusing on a single dealership, expand your reach. For example, if you’re searching for used Volkswagen cars near Las Vegas, extend your search outside of Sin City and check in Henderson, Paradise, or Sloan. The more dealerships you visit, the more likely you are to find your perfect fit.
- Make Sure to Test Drive
Test-driving multiple cars before buying lets you get a feel for your top options to make a more educated decision. Getting the feel of a car is very important before you commit to driving it, so taking test drives is an equally important part of the buying process. Choose a car that makes you feel like you.
With these tips in your pocket, you’re well prepared to find the car of your dreams, without spending a fortune. Happy car hunting!