Next to buying a house, a car is the most important purchase you will ever make. They are expensive, and unlike homes they are depreciating assets. This makes it even more important that you get the best deal when buying a car. There are several factors to keep in mind when you purchase a vehicle, and it is not a decision that should be taken lightly.
The majority of a cars depreciation takes place in the first three years that it is driven. That means if you buy a car in good condition, after its first three years on the road, then you are getting the car at a good price. Most of the depreciation has taken place and the value will hold a bit more steady over the coming years.
Clearly the advice above means that buying a slightly used car is the way to go, but again that’s only if it’s in good shape. For those of you who are not mechanically inclined then it’s important that you do your homework. If you buy a used car from an individual then you need to have it thoroughly looked over by a skilled mechanic before you hand over any money. Sometimes it’s safer to buy through a reputable and certified used dealer that offers a warranty, and even then I would still have a skilled mechanic look it over.
It’s not uncommon for the average consumer to be unable to buy the vehicle with cash. Because it’s such a large expense a loan is often needed. There is nothing wrong with this, after all you will need the car to get to and from work, and in case of emergencies as well. However, you need to make sure that you aren’t being charged too much interest either. Likewise you want to make sure the payment is something you can comfortably afford. This car loan comparison site will help in making the right decisions.
Don’t forget that the car and loan are not the only two financial matters to deal with, you also have to consider insurance and maintenance. Depending on where you live, the make and model of the vehicle, and sometimes even the color, you could be paying quite a bit of money each month for insurance. There are insurance comparison sites you can check out as well, but in the end you want to make sure that you are covered adequately. This means that you have full coverage on the vehicle in case of an accident, and that you are protected from any personal liability and property damage that could occur.
Maintenance is nothing to scoff at. Not only do cars depreciate, but they can be a money pit as well. In order to get the biggest bang for your buck you need to regularly take it in for oil changes, tire rotations, and routine check-ups. Your car is a big expense, treat it right and it will reward you with years or carefree and reliable driving.