Buyers, be careful when purchasing a car so you can avoid any remorse later on. It sounds like a doomsday prophecy, but it tells you to be on your guard when you make a major purchase like a car. Practically speaking, a considerable amount of money and commitment to ownership are involved here.
The cost of owning a car is no joke. That’s why you have to do your car-buying venture right the first time, and a first-time car buyer like you can ready yourself to cover all bases. If you are worried about committing the same mistakes as those of car buyers before you, then stick around as this article rolls out three ways to avoid these costly speed bumps. Your quest starts here.
You Can Buy a Used Car
It’s a common misconception that, when you buy a car, your only option is a new unit. You can also shop for used cars with the same model or with comparable value. Of course, that’s beside the point if you are in the market for a newly released model.
Whether you are going for a new or secondhand car, here are top considerations:
- Purchase price. New vehicles are understandably more expensive than old cars are, but that is not to say that the latter comes cheap. In the US, some used cars have fewer years on them, so they can still command higher prices. This price trend also reflects people’s preference for big vehicles like trucks and SUVs.
- Risk. Lenders see new cars as less risky. You may be able to obtain a lower interest rate on your car loan if you go for a brand-new car.
- Warranty. New cars have warranties, and so do some used vehicles. You have to ask directly for implied or expressed warranties. Each warranty varies in terms and length of duration.
- Insurance. Insuring a new or used car is a case-to-case basis. Car insurers determine your rate based on many variables about you (age, driving record, gender) and your unit (vehicle type, value, and history).
Shop for Car Loans before You Shop for Cars
Car buyers everywhere are likely to get a loan for their car purchase. It’s not wrong to finance the acquisition; this move can be more practical than producing sizable cash outright. However, rookie car buyers often shop around for cars before they shop for loans—big mistake.
Why should you scout for loans or lenders first and foremost?
- Qualification. So you will know if you qualify for a loan or if you need to work on your credit score to get approved for one.
- Budget. Depending on your qualifications, you may be allowed to borrow a higher amount or have a high loan-to-value ratio to lower the amount for your down payment. However, it’s recommended to put as much as 20 percent of the purchase price as a down payment to reduce your monthly car payments.
- Car. Once you have prequalified with a loan amount and have an initial commitment from a lender who will offer you a loan, then you can safely proceed to look around for vehicles.
Doing your homework on your loan streamlines your search for your car, and you can be more confident when going to dealerships or dealing with sellers because you have an auto loan to back your purchase.
Prepare for Car Repairs and Maintenance Costs
As noted earlier, warranties exist for a certain period and cover certain defects. Car repairs and routine maintenance checks won’t likely be much of a headache until your warranty has expired and the servicing, like oil changes, belt replacement, and fluid checks, now falls into your pockets.
Don’t fall into the mistake of not readying yourself for these necessary costs of car ownership.
- Car repairs cost more than you think. Start researching on extended warranties or other mechanisms like beefing up your auto insurance.
- Routine maintenance is the lifeblood of your car, so don’t skip any of it (e.g., changing oil, replacing belts, checking for fluids, and inspecting for any defects).
- Responsible car ownership tells you to protect your vehicle, especially from auto body damage. One deterrent to scrapes, scratches, and other types of damages is by
- installing fender flares on Toyota Tundra and other trucks. For instance, your large tires may have kicked up rocks and debris that can crack your or other motorists’ windshield. These fender flares can prevent this kind of incident and, more importantly, protect your car.
Take these tips, along with others you’ve read online or personally heard from car owners, before closing any deal.
What’s the best car-buying advice you’ve heard from a stranger? Do tell in the comments section.