How to Save Money When Buying a Car

woman buying new car

Buying a New Car

Having a plan in place before going to purchase a car will help you get the best value for your money and the car that best suits your needs.

By: Jane Simpson

Buying a car is a very big step that women often dread, partly because of the expense, and partly because it is not something they purchase every day, so they are not sure how to get the best deal. Wouldn’t the whole car buying experience be more enjoyable if you knew how to get more bang for your buck or at least make your money go further? The tips listed below should help you.

Monthly Payments

All too often someone negotiating for a car will make the mistake of focusing on monthly payments. It’s easy to do, since that’s likely how it will be financed and because one of the first questions the sales staff will ask is how much a customer can afford on a monthly basis. Here are some ways to avoid paying more than necessary:

*Financing – Keep the focus of the negotiations on the price of the car and the rate that is available, not how much can be afforded per month. Doing otherwise allows the dealer to extend financing or adjust rates to meet that payment. Even a few points on the interest rate or an extra year or two on the loan could add thousands of dollars to the total price.

*Use a calculator – Find an online car loan calculator to determine what price and interest rate is right. This will help locate a vehicle that fits your budget and will allow negotiations to keep on track. The calculator allows you to change the variables of a possible loan, including the monthly payment, interest and length of time.

Avoid Extras

Especially when rates are low, dealers may try to take advantage of the situation to sell a customer additional services they may not necessarily need.

*Packages – Be wary of package deals, especially those billed as protection deals. Often, these “specials” will include unnecessary items, such as rustproofing, environmental preparation or VIN etching.

*Paint and Fabric Protections – These may be offered but are not usually needed. Similar services can either be done by the consumer or taken to a detail shop for a much lower price.

*Extended Warranty – This won’t kick in until after the original warranty expires but it likely will be rolled into the monthly payment. An extended warranty only makes sense if the car will be owned well after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.

Other Considerations

*New or Used? – Buying a new-to-you vehicle doesn’t have to mean purchasing a brand new car. There are many used options these days and they frequently come with warranties similar to new models.

*The Right Car – Think about how the car will be used. If it’s just to get to and from work, or run a few errands, a smaller, more fuel-efficient model will work. Don’t spend money on more vehicle than is needed.

Having a plan in place before going to purchase a car will help you get the best value for your money and the car that best suits your needs. The plan will keep negotiations on track for a quality vehicle and make sure no unwanted services or extras are included.

About the Author:
Jane Simpson has recently been through the process of purchasing a new car and knows how daunting it can be. She hopes the tips above will help other women get a better deal when shopping for a new vehicle.

Photo: MarazziMotors