It doesn’t matter whether you buy a vehicle new or used; the purchase is bound to take a hit on your finances. Unfortunately, a vehicle purchase can be unavoidable, especially if you live in a car-centric state like California.
Thankfully, there are several ways to save money when you’re buying a car or truck. With patience, planning, and a little car-buying know-how, you can drastically minimize the dent that a car purchase will have on your wallet. Here are some easy ways to save money when you’re buying a vehicle.
Get Pre-Approved for an Auto Loan
The first thing you should do to save money is get pre-approved for an auto loan. You can get an auto loan at a bank or local credit union. There are lots of benefits to getting pre-approved. The first one is that you’ll have a better idea of what your budget is. The second is that you’re more likely to get a better rate with a pre-approved auto loan than you would with dealer financing. Or, the car dealer may offer you a competitive interest rate if you take their financing. Either way, you’re getting the best possible deal.
Remember to try and boost your credit score before you apply for an auto loan. A better credit score may grant you a better interest rate.
A vehicle isn’t always the most fun purchase to make, and so many people want to buy from the very first dealer they visit just so they can get it all over with. But if you want to save money, it’s crucial that you visit several dealers and find the one that offers the best price on the car you want. Remember, if you’re trying to save money, you have to think of the costs of transportation differently.
Don’t be afraid to travel to other nearby towns to find the best deal. For example, if you’re living in Fort Lauderdale, you might be able to find a new Mercedes for sale in Pompano Beach at a cheaper price. It might sound like a hassle to travel outside of your area, but the money you’ll save should be more than worth the slight inconvenience.
You might also consider buying a vehicle from a private seller. Private sellers are sometimes just ordinary people who are selling their old car. Other times, they’re operating a business in which they have a small fleet of cars for sale. So long as you thoroughly test the vehicle and that all agreements are backed in writing, you may be able to get the best deals from private sellers.
If you don’t have car insurance yet, you should also shop around for the best insurance provider that has the lowest costs.
Don’t ever be afraid to negotiate with a seller. Keep in mind that the worst that can happen is that the dealer declines your offer. But the best-case scenario is that the dealer will agree to a lower price. Be realistic; the dealer might only cut the price by hundreds or maybe a couple thousand dollars. Don’t expect the dealer to give you a 25% discount, or even a 10% discount, for that matter.
Trade-in Your Vehicle
If you currently have a vehicle that you’re driving, you may be able to trade it in to the dealer and receive proportional discount on your purchase. Be aware that you won’t receive nearly as much for your old vehicle as what you paid for it, unless you’ve put thousands of dollars into supping it up. It’s also sometimes difficult to find a dealer that will accept trade-ins. But if you can trade in your vehicle, you could save big bucks.
If you can’t give up your entire vehicle, you might be able to sell some of the parts online for a little extra cash—the non-important parts, anyway.
Buy a Used Vehicle
One of the best ways to save money on a car is to buy it used. Used cars sometimes go for just a fraction of the price that it was sold for off the assembly line, and many used cars are still in great condition. This is often the most affordable financing option for buying a car. When you’re shopping around for a used vehicle, be sure to consider:
- What the car’s mileage is
- Whether the car has been in any collisions
- The condition of all its parts
Try and find a used car that only has a mileage between 50,000 and 60,000 miles. These ones will most likely last you the longest amount of time. However, know that cars between 60,000 and 100,000 miles may come at a cheaper price. Those ones might be in good condition, too, and you can prolong their life if you’re willing to have some major work done on them.
Before you buy a used vehicle, always have it inspected by a mechanic of your choice.
To Sum it Up
You don’t have to go broke to buy a new vehicle! If you’re trying to save money on your purchase, just remember these few tips:
- Get pre-approved for an auto loan
- Shop prices
- Trade in your vehicle
- Buy a used vehicle