There’s much more to buying a car than just choosing a make and model and heading down to the car lot. You need a plan, and that plan should include a realistic budget based on some research and knowing what you can really afford.
Overall Price and Financing
This is your starting point. How much can you afford when buying a car is more than just the car price. If you are not fiscally suited to simply pay cash for the vehicle, then you are going to need financing. Determine what your budget can comfortably afford for a monthly payment for the duration until the vehicle is finally paid off. This should be your number one consideration when looking to buy a car. Being able to make your monthly payments on time not only keeps your credit in good standing, but over time it can also help improve your overall credit score.
Unless your credit is impeccable, you venture into used car shopping will likely require a down payment. Dealerships requirements vary on down payments typically based on the make, model and year of the vehicle. Thanks to the modern world of technology we live in, doing a car search online will provide you with a lot of the pertinent information on a vehicle including the car price and how much down payment price the dealership is asking.
Another aspect to consider for budgeting are the associated costs that come with owning a car.
Car insurance is number one in that arena. Know that finance companies/dealership will require full coverage to assure in the event anything happens, the costs of the vehicle are covered.
Fuel costs are another consideration. If you are working with a limited budget, consider buying a car that is fuel-efficient to keep your monthly gas costs at a minimum.
All vehicles require routine maintenance to assure that you get the most trouble-free mileage out of your car. The main regular costs will be an engine oil change at the manufacturer’s specified intervals. Make sure your budget prepares for this aspect of owning a car. It is critical to the longevity of your vehicle.
Tires are another factor. Hopefully, when you were doing your car search, the vehicle you chose was already equipped with a good set of tires. Just be aware, that tire life is affected by other things than just mileage. Wheel alignments, worn suspension parts, bad roads can all be a cause for normal wear as well as an unplanned incident.
Brakes and other components are harder to check when buying a car as they aren’t easily accessed for a visual inspection, but they all have an end life and will have to be replaced at some point in the life of your car. It is better to know in advance when these parts replacements are coming due than having them fail, which often leads to added costs for replacing or repairing other impacted components.
Always test drive the vehicle, request a CARFAX report, and have an independent mechanic give the car a thorough looking over. These steps can help you avoid unexpected expenses outside of your planned car budget.
Auto Market of Florida
At Auto Market of Florida, we understand that many people live on a limited budget. We understand that life happens, and many people don’t have impeccable credit. We also understand that in today’s age, we all need a car. So, when shopping to buy a car, stop by AMF where everyone is approved! We have cars you’ll love at payments you can afford.