What to Consider Before Buying a Car


Buying a vehicle is usually the second largest purchase most people make, and it’s often one of the few business negotiations that people enter. It’s important to be prepared before heading to the car lot, so you’re not caught off-guard. Car salespeople are trained to sell, and they do it every day, which puts you at a slight disadvantage. However, with these tips, you can learn how to hold your own and walk away with a deal that’s beneficial to both parties. These tips also help you discover unexpected vehicle costs that add up over time.

How Much Money Should You Spend?

Whether you’re paying cash or considering financing a vehicle, you need to determine how much money you plan to spend. First, you need to know the value of the car you’re looking at. You can use a website like Kelly Blue Book to find the value of a particular vehicle. Once you have good understanding of how much you should be paying for the car you want, it’s time to see if that’s a realistic price for you to pay.

When you go to the dealership, they’ll often ask you how much money you’re looking to pay every month. They ask this because it’s easy to manipulate monthly payments by adjusting the loan length and other variables, however, changing these variables to get you a lower monthly payment may result in you paying a lot of extra money. If you’re looking for a trustworthy car loan calculator in Cranbury NJ, consider going to a bank or credit union and discussing getting an auto loan. As the credit union or bank wants to see you pay back the loan, they’re likely to be honest with you, and help you understand what kind of loan meets your budget.

Consider the Hidden Costs of the Vehicle

While you may feel that the auto loan amount and monthly payments you’ll be making are manageable, there are many hidden factors that creep in over time. Cars break down, require maintenance and some guzzle gas like a college student drinking at a frat party.

If you know anyone who owns the vehicle you’re considering buying, take him or her out for coffee and have a chat. Find out if any hidden issues came up with the car. Also, ask if there’s anything about the car that’s bothersome. Many cars seem really nice when you first drive it, but a week or a month later, you notice that the cup holder is too small, or that the center console gets in your way at times.

Fuel costs can add up considerably, especially if you drive a lot. There are resources available on the internet that let you calculate how much money you’ll spend on gas each year.

Consider whether you do more traveling on the highway or in the city, as well. Highway driving uses less gas and puts less wear-and-tear on your car. City driving not only uses more gas, but it puts more strain on your vehicle, as you’re using your brakes more often and driving over speed bumps and pot holes.

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