Tips for buying cars: Research, research, research
When you're in the market to buy a new or used car, there are many different aspects of the purchase to consider before finalizing your decision. You should take into account everything from the initial price to the long term costs, including insurance, car loan payments and fuel. It is also important to research your options to find the right car for your needs. Taking the time to thoroughly investigate a vehicle before buying can help you find the perfect car that fits your budget.
Figure out what kind of car suits you best
There are so many makes and models available these days that it can be overwhelming to narrow your choices. Before you even start debating the type or brand you'd like, you may want to make a list of the attributes you desire in your next ride. For instance, if you have kids, you'll probably want to find something roomy, safe and affordable. Determine if you need a lot of storage space or if a smaller car would be more appropriate. You can also consider whether fuel economy or power is more important, as the former often negates the latter.
Once you've figured out what you need in a vehicle, it will be much easier to pare down your options. Be sure to research the cars you want thoroughly so you're prepared to negotiate pricing when you visit a dealership.
Set a budget before deciding on a specific car
After you determine the type of car you want, you should take a look at your budget to figure out how much you can afford to pay for your next vehicle. When you apply for an auto loan, you'll be making monthly payments on the loan for a fixed amount of time. You should factor that in with monthly costs of ownership such as car insurance, transportation costs and maintenance and repair bills.
You can use an auto loan calculator to determine how much your monthly payments would be for loans of different sizes and see how long it would take to repay the loan. If you have less than ideal credit, you may not get the best interest rates, but keep in mind that paying your bills on time helps improve your score. After a while, you can consider auto loan refinancing to renegotiate the terms on the remaining balance for better rates or lower monthly payments.
Stay tuned for advice on what to do when you're ready to head to the dealership.