Given our current financial times, many families are cash tight and credit poor. Obligations are stretched to the limit, and every penny has to count. With this in mind, big dollar purchases, such as for cars, don’t have to break the bank. Here are some tips in purchasing a car or other vehicle without going into debt.
Things to Consider
Buying a car is not something that people consider lightly. Many questions have to be asked and honestly answered when thinking about getting a new car. You have to really know why you are needing (or wanting) a new car, what you can comfortably afford, who will be the primary users of the car and what will the car be used for.
When many people live from paycheck to paycheck, its easy to say that they cannot afford another car; however, reality may force their hands. It’s important that when you are looking for a new (or new to you) car, that you consider how much you can afford to spend. If you can’t spend, then what are you able to trade. Be honest about the budget. If you can’t spend over $ 1000.00 for a one time payment or you can’t spend more than $ 300.00 per month, then you are one step closer to understanding your options.
When picking a car, you have to determine why you need or want the car. Is the purchase to impress neighbors or is it because it will make life easier for you and your family. Is the purchase for your child or for yourself? Did your trusty van break down and you need a replacement?
In picking a car, do you need a simple car for getting to and from work? Is this a car for getting the kids back and forth from college or school. Is this a car for a business? Once you decide the use of the car. You will need to realize that if you need it to haul gardening supplies, an economy sedan is probably not going to be your number one choice. Pick the type of vehicle on what you will use if for.
Once all these issues are considered, you are ready to start a search. There are many resources available for finding affordable and reliable transportation.
Consider the Sources
Auctions are a great source for affordable cars, which will not break the bank or the family budget. Governmental entities, charities, estates, finance companies and even towing companies will hold auctions. .Nice, nearly new, cars can be obtained that were subject to repossessions from finance companies. Non-profits, such as the Goodwill and Good Samaritans, receive cars as donations and auction them to raise money. Governmental entities sell off well maintained cars as surplus inventory. In either of these cases, cars can sell for as low as $ 200.00 to over $ 1000.00. Transactions are simple and titles are exchanged at the time of purchase or in the case of repossessions, financing may be available.
The Internet is a great source for seeking affordable cars. Websites, such as Craigslist, advertise cars for sale by dealers and private owners, which are affordable. On these sites, pictures of vehicles, prices, defects and owner information is listed. Test drives are encouraged. Anything from trailers, scooters, motorcycles, trucks, SUVs and cars can be obtained for a wide range of costs. Sometimes, cars are listed for parts, trade or even cash from private owners. Dealers offer affordable financing.
Junk yards and mechanics shops are also another fabulous source for finding an affordable car. Often, junk yards will obtain cars which are operable and good condition. These yards will list, display and sell these cars far below book value. While they do not finance, the cars are generally being offered for prices less than $ 2000.00. As for mechanics shops, in cases were a person cannot pay a repair bill and does not return for their cars, many states allow mechanics to obtain titles and sell vehicles abandoned at their shop. Most mechanics will simply seek to recoup their costs for repairing a car.
Still, dealers are great sources for finding great and affordable cars. Many have new models, from previous model years, which they are trying to sell. They also have trade in and leased vehicles which they offer that are less expensive than newer models. Dealers offer financing, but before you accept their terms. Check with your local bank or credit union. These institutions may be able to offer better interest rates and for special members, you may receive discounts on loan payments by making loan payments though an existing account.
The purchase of a car may affect other expenses as well. Auto insurance may rise. Gasoline and car maintenance costs may change. Be sure to consider these budget items when buying another (or new) car.
While the economy has been improving, Americans still are struggle to meet basic obligations. For better quality of life and better opportunity, transportation is essential. Still, many may find it hard to purchase a new (or newer to them) car for their family’s use. Being honest about financial situations, researching the available market and making smart choices will help a car buyer find an affordable car that meets his or her needs.