How to Buy a Car on a Tight Budget

When money’s tight it can be no fun looking at the prospect of buying a new car or any other large purchase. Buying a new car should be a fun thing. Something to enjoy. But for those of us on a tight budget it can simply be stressful and heart-aching not being able to afford the car we want. Here are a few tips to help you keep calm during the process and get a better deal.

Only buy what you need

Space in cars is bought at a premium. If you’re a small family then buy a small family car rather than that cool new SUV. If you’re only driving around the city rather than going bush, then a small city car should do the trick. Essentially buy the boot that you can afford and that you need. Don’t pay extra for space you’re not going to use.

Buy second-hand

The single biggest money saver when it comes to buying a new car is to buy used. According to trusted choice, a new vehicle bought for $34,968 will decrease by 11% as soon as it’s driven off the lot, now being worth just $31,121. That’s an enormous amount of wasted money right there. Instead, do yourself a favour and buy used. If you still want to buy “new” then opt for a new model with low mileage. You’ll still be paying more than what you would an older model but at least you’ll be saving that 11% depreciation cost.

Sell your current car

Sell your current car to help pay for the new one. Buying a new car on a tight budget can mean scrounging up every last penny. To help you do this you should always resell your old car to help pay for the new. List your car on classifieds sites and park it at a local popular spot with a for sale sign listed with your number. Selling your old car privately means making a lot more money than trading it in at the dealer.

Research first

Before deciding on a new car you need to consider your options. Buy only as much car as you need. You’ll also need to consider maintenance and fuel costs. Buying a car with good fuel economy is going to save you an absolute fortune over the lifetime of the vehicle. Of course, cars with great fuel economy are often much more expensive than those with only moderate fuel economy so it all adds up. That being said, if you’re looking at having the car for more than 5 year or even 10, then paying a little more upfront for good fuel economy only makes sense in the long run.

Shop around

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices you should start to shop around. Look at your favourite makes and models online and at your local dealerships. The most important part of buying a new car is to do your homework in order to get a good deal. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with private sellers and dealers. Never pay the listed price for a car, there should always be room to talk a buyer down at least a little.

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