Everyone loves that “new car” smell, but what if your new car is actually used? For many people, finding a cheap used car can be the difference between bus travel and cruising in style. Unfortunately, everyone’s definition of “cheap” and “affordable” are quite different. If you are shopping for a vehicle, you may be wondering how to make it more affordable.
Whether you are buying a new car, used car or considering leasing, there are many ways you can cut down on your vehicle costs. Included here are a few tips to make the purchase, and maintenance, of a new car more affordable.
Buy Less Car Than You Can Afford
Have you ever heard the saying “buy less house than you can afford?” The same principle applies to vehicle ownership. Just because you can afford a $400 lease every month doesn’t mean you should max out your budget on it. Consider going for a vehicle that has a slightly lower monthly cost and put the remaining funds in savings.
Additionally, in buying “less” car you can simply choose a vehicle that is smaller or less extravagant than what you can afford. For instance, if you are buying a vehicle that is used primarily for commuting, why not purchase a small two-four seater instead of that big truck? On the off-chance you need a truck for towing a boat or hauling gardening materials, you can borrow one from a friend or rent it.
Pay In Cash
Another way to make your vehicle costs significantly lower can be by paying in cash. By taking the time to save up the money you need for your vehicle purchase, you may buy something less fancy, but more affordable. This will allow you to avoid a monthly car payment and pay less in insurance.
Have a Precheck
Many mechanics will offer a “precheck” for individuals who are shopping for a car. What this means is you can pay them a flat fee for 3 or so vehicles, and as you look at each one, you can bring it into them to have it checked. This precheck can save you thousands of dollars if the mechanics pick up any major repairs you didn’t see yourself.
Do It Yourself
When it comes to car maintenance, things can get expensive quite quickly. While there are some things that must be performed by a mechanic, there are many others that can be done yourself. For instance, the oil changes you receive every three months can easily be performed by you in your driveway, saving you up to $30 each quarter.
Additionally, many basic seasonal changes can be done by the car owner as well. Changing your tires from winter to summer can be a fairly simple task, one that should probably be mastered by every driver regardless. Altering your windshield washer fluid and refilling coolants for summer can be fairly basic as well and save you a trip to the mechanic.