When it comes time to buy a new (or used) vehicle you want to make sure you know exactly what you are doing. There is more to buying a vehicle than just going to a dealership and picking one that looks good. Start out by learning what kind of loans are available to you (your credit is going to determine this, as well as your income).
Here are a few other things to do before you sign on the dotted line. You definitely don’t want to be stuck with a lemon in a state that doesn’t protect you with the ‘lemon law,’ and you also don’t want to get in over your head with loan payments and car insurance you can’t afford. Pick something with a good warranty too!
How Much Vehicle Do You Need?
Consider what you are going to be using your vehicle for before you make a decision on what you want to purchase. If you’re single with no children and you don’t move a lot or need to haul much stuff, a compact sized car will be ideal for you. It’s also a pretty cheap option, on purchase price and on gas too.
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If you need something bigger, you’re probably going to be spending more. However, if you have a large family, a small compact car isn’t going to be a good investment at all, no matter how much it saves you initially.
Check The Insurance Rate
The amount you pay for insurance on a vehicle isn’t simply based on where you live and your credit, it also is based on your vehicle. If your choice in vehicles has a high theft rate or has costly replacement parts, your insurance is going to cost you more. Sometimes even the color of your vehicle can increase your insurance rate.
How Much Can You Afford Monthly?
Remember, if you’re financing a vehicle you’ll not only have your monthly car payment, but you’ll be footing out money for full-coverage on insurance until your vehicle is paid off. Make sure to factor that in when you’re deciding how much of a monthly car payment you can afford.
The more money you have for a down payment, and the more money you can get from a trade-in, the less your monthly payments will be. It pays to save up a decent amount of money for a down payment on a new or used vehicle.
How Much Do You Want To Spend On Gas?
These days you have a great deal of options when it comes to vehicles that can help you save money on gas. Consider a hybrid vehicle or a Flex Fuel vehicle. You might even find you can get an insurance discount or a tax discount on these types of vehicles. Look into it before making your final decision. Check on the gas mileage of any car, truck, or van you’re considering.
Go For A Test Drive
Never buy a vehicle without taking it for a test drive first. Don’t just drive it around the block either. You want to get it going at varying speeds to get a good feeling for its driveability. This is important for both new and used cars.