Cars are a huge necessity in many parts of the world, so the decision to buy one is a decision that many people make often. This decision, however, is not always an easy one, especially when there are other forms of transportation to choose from that don’t require a large amount of money. Here are a few things to think about before deciding to buy a car.
#1: Your Budget
Buying a car is no cheap purchase, nor do you want it to be. When determining your budget for a car, you must decide whether you want a new car or a used car. Used cars tend to be a lot less expensive than a new car, and you don’t want to buy a used car from just anywhere. It may seem tempting to buy a used car from someone selling it for only a few thousand dollars, but you could potentially run into issues that could end up costing you more money than what the car is worth. When planning your budget, make sure it is set realistically for buying a car.
#2: Your Needs
Once you’ve determined a suitable price range for your next car, you should think about what type of car you’d want to drive. Maybe you’re finally able to buy the sports car you’ve always wanted, or maybe it’s time for a bigger, more comfortable car for your growing family. Whatever the case, there are many different types of cars to choose from, and there’s something that should fit everyone’s needs and desires.
One thing that should be on the top of everyone’s list is safety. Luckily, the majority of cars manufactured today meet the top safety standards, but there are those cars that go above and beyond.
#3: Your Credit Score
This may actually need to be worked on before you set a budget since a poor credit score can hurt your chances of getting a fair interest rate with finance companies, or your ability to even purchase a car at all. A credit score of 661 or higher typically means that you’re likely to be approved for a car loan and receive the best interest rates.
Reviewing your credit score also gives you some insight into what your financing options may be. If your credit score is significantly lower than 661, you may need to consider having a cosigner to help you get approved for a loan. You can also look into dealerships that specialize in working with customers who have a lower credit score. This may also be a deciding factor in whether to buy or lease a vehicle.
In the United States, the only two states that don’t require insurance are Virginia and New Hampshire, but the rest of the country does require it. Many countries all over the world also require car insurance. Car insurance is very necessary, as it covers the costs of accidents— but it is also another cost itself. To determine if you’re getting the best car insurance rates, you should compare the costs of different insurance companies. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding what your car insurance rate could be, so it’s important to do research on insurance as well.
#5: Upkeep on the Car
Once you’ve purchased a car, your money doesn’t stop there (as noted with insuring a car). Routine car maintenance is essential to keep your car running smoothly, even if you’ve purchased a brand new car. Start off with doing sensible maintenance checks on the vehicle yourself, but also make sure to schedule routine maintenance that can be done by a professional. If you determine that you’ll be able to keep up with maintaining your car, then it will be a good investment for you. This, as well as paying for monthly car insurance, should be included in your car budget.
Buying a car is a pretty big commitment, so it requires a lot of thought and shouldn’t be done on a whim. You’ll want to make sure that your money is well-spent and that you’ll receive a good car in return that will last you several years.