How to Buy An Affordable Vehicle
Maybe you’ve thought this common saying to yourself before: Life is expensive.
It’s true. The things that you need do cost quite a bit of money over the long-run. House payments, insurance, and more drain your wallet monthly. For some, when the time comes to get a new car, it can be hard to imagine how you’ll be able to afford it.
If you’re in a position where you need a car but aren’t sure you’ll be able to afford it, don’t worry. You’re not alone – as many as 40% of Americans don’t have an adequate amount in savings to purchase something in the event of an emergency. But don’t let those numbers scare you. There are options available for you, especially at trustworthy, certified pre-owned dealerships like Zeck Ford in Leavenworth. Here are some tips on how to find, finance, and purchase an affordable vehicle.
Visit a Dealership That Will Allow You to Trade in an Old Car
Even though you can find a good deal on cars on private seller websites, they don’t account for your old car. Often, people seeking to purchase a new vehicle will have older vehicles they are looking to sell as a way to secure a down-payment.
If your old car doesn’t work well, it can take months to sell on private-seller platforms. However, many dealerships that sell used vehicles will take your old cars, even if they aren’t running or are in poor shape, and give you credit toward a new car. This means you can save time and money on the purchase of an affordable vehicle.
Stay Flexible And Don’t Get Stuck On Your Dream Car.
It’s easy to get stuck on a dream car, especially if you’ve worked hard to be able to afford it. But sometimes you’re better off remaining flexible during your car search. There’s no guarantee that you’ll find the car you’re looking for without having to pay exorbitant amounts of money for it. So, it remains best to have a general idea for what you are looking for in a car – like whether you want a truck, SUV, or sedan, whether you need something with towing capability, or whether you want a hybrid vehicle.
Keeping yourself flexible means that you’ll always be able to find a car you like within your budget, rather than forcing yourself to purchase a dream car that you may or may not be able to afford.
Do Your Research
We’ve already hinted at this, but it really does pay to do your research before you set out on your car shopping quest. Some of the things you should look into include:
- Your monthly budget. If you don’t have a monthly spending budget set up before you start car buying, be sure to do so. This will ensure you don’t overspend or find yourself stuck in the future, and it will also ensure that you are approved for the vehicles you want at dealerships.
- What the best types of cars from the past ten years are. If you’re looking for an affordable vehicle, you’ll likely be researching used cars. Instead of staying fixated on one or two cars, examine the nitty-gritty details about the best vehicles of the past ten years. That way, you have an idea of what you want ideally from a car.
- New cars. When you do your “big picture” cost planning, consider new vehicles in the lineup as well as used cars. Sometimes, the used car you want is no match for new car costs when you include things like monthly payments, gas, and repairs.
…And Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions!
If you’ve done the research, you’re entitled to get your questions answered! Be sure to have your smartphone in hand and keep your research at the back of your mind when you work with a private seller or a dealer. If they can’t answer your questions about why a car costs the amount it does, find a different dealer.
Think About the Bigger Picture
Car ownership isn’t just about how much money you pay for a car up-front. It’s important to factor in all the other costs associated with purchasing a vehicle before you make a deal.
- If you end up financing, think about your monthly payments.
- Think about the amount you will need to spend on fuel over a month.
- Consider the sales tax on the car.
- Talk to an insurance agent about how much insuring a specific make and model will cost.
Although this might delay your time to purchase, it will ultimately help you save quite a bit of money in the long-run when you think about the total cost.
Buy As High a Quality Car As You Can Afford
It’s tempting to buy junker cars if you’re in a tight spot, especially if you’re more interested in purchasing a vehicle outright than financing it. However, older, more well-used cars tend to be money pits over time and might even cost you more than a more expensive car in the long run. Although it is not an exact science, people tend to ask more for vehicles when they’ve been well-maintained, as they are at certified pre-owned dealerships.
Say you’re faced with two choices – financing a certified pre-owned car for $8,000 or buying a used car outright for $3,500. You might save that initial $4,500, but there’s no certainty that the vehicle you buy for $3,500 will be all that the private seller says it is. Usually, used car owners end up spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on their cars within the first year of ownership. However, certified pre-owned vehicles have to pass rigorous inspections before being sold, and usually come with warranties. So, over time, you might end up spending more trying to maintain your used car if you buy it for cheap.
Zeck Ford in Leavenworth, Kansas, has a variety of new and used vehicles available at affordable prices. All our certified pre-owned cars must pass a 120-point inspection before they can be sold. This means that not only will you save money by purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle, but you’ll also save money on significant repairs after you purchase it. To view our inventory of high-quality vehicles priced under $10,000, click here.