Car Buying Tips to Help You Find the Perfect Car on a Budget
Is it time for a new car but you don’t have thousands of dollars on hand? Are you afraid that the only car you might be able to afford right now is one that may or may not be reliable enough?
Well, now that you’ve landed on this page, just know your doubt will be 99.999% eliminated after reading this post in full — because we’ve got the secret to finding the perfect car while on a budget.
Whether you’re in the market for a new-new car, or looking for a previously owned set of wheels that’s at least new to you, there’s always a way to save money. So buckle-up, and get ready for our fast and furious ways of savings tons!
First things first – you already know you’re trying to find the right car for the right price…that’s why you’re here with us…but even though it seems like it would be obvious knowledge, a lot of people miss the most important step of car shopping – budgeting. The toughest part in purchasing a car isn’t researching different models, taking test drives or even negotiating with the seller; it’s determining how much car you can really afford, and then buying within your means.
How to Buy an Expensive Car for Cheap
- START WITH A BUDGET
Buying a new car can be a frustrating process, and most salespeople won’t always have your best interest in mind. So it’s important to get a sense of what’s available prior to walking into a dealership and decide what you’re willing to pay before going out for test drives.
The first and easiest step in setting a car budget is to determine what your income and expenses are. Remember, you are going to want to base your income on what you actually take home (after taxes) and not your gross pay. The next, and much more difficult step, is to determine how much you can afford and want to spend on a new car. Just because you can afford an expensive car doesn’t mean you should buy one. You may have other priorities to consider, or may want to account for unexpected expenses down the road.
Car-shopping tip: Keep your monthly budget amount to yourself. The salesperson doesn’t need to know how much you’ve budgeted for a car. Come in with a goal in mind, and stick to it. Your goal is to find the right car and then negotiate down the purchase price. Don’t muddy the water by revealing what you can afford to pay per month.
- DO YOUR HOMEWORKBefore heading to the dealer, research and know the car models that fit your needs. The less picky you are, the more options you will have in finding a bargain.
Don’t limit yourself to only one make and model. Doing so can steer you head-on into a bad deal, as it puts you at a negotiating disadvantage! Choose the right car for you, and take the time that you need – this isn’t a process to be rushed. One more golden rule: Think of your everyday needs, not occasional wants. Example: If you only haul large items a couple of times a year, it might be more practical to rent a pickup truck when needed rather than drive a gas guzzler every single day.
Once you’ve zeroed in on makes and models that interest you, don’t just stop into one dealership and take the first offer. Make sure you’ve shopped around to see if you’re really getting the best deal.
- WHERE TO START LOOKING
Car dealerships are a dime a dozen, but just because they’re everywhere doesn’t mean they’re all going to provide what you need. Depending on the type of car you are looking for and the budget you have to spend is what will get you in the doors to the right dealership.
Those who are in search of an inexpensive used car often start with the used-car inventory at a new-car dealership – or some go straight to private-party car sellers. However, those options don’t suit everyone. Consider visiting an independent used-car dealership, as the main draw at many independent used-car lots is lower-priced cars, flexibility, and getting you into the right car with no strings attached. Plus, some might offer a few extra benefits that will help you feel most comfortable if any problems were to arise. The Prestige Auto Family offer in-house master technicians that can tackle any need your vehicle might have. From routine maintenance to complicated repair, there is no project too big or too small for our team. We also offer detailing and sell and install quality automotive parts to the public at fair market prices. Doesn’t that sound pretty fantastic?
At Prestige, it’s our family guarantee that our customers will be offered a better selection of cars in a greater price range to better suit your needs. Speaking of needs, let’s move onto our fourth step in finding an expensive car while on a budget.
- NEEDS OVER WANTS – FINDING A CAR WITH SOUND MECHANICS
You find a car that you’re interested in and now there are hundreds of questions that run through your head. For example, what premium features does the car offer? Does it have leather seats, a moonroof, air-conditioned seats, LCD screens, or a remote start? Of course, we would love to have all those premium features in our new car; however, if you’re shopping for a car on a budget, you’re going to have to leave some of those things off your checklist.
The questions you should be asking include: Does the engine run quietly and evenly without valve rattle or blue smoke from the exhaust pipe? Are there any exhaust leaks? Does the oil look clean? Does the steering-wheel shake when I accelerate a certain speed? Making sure that the mechanics are sound is your top priority before signing any paperwork.
- CHECK FOR A WARRANTYChecking for a warranty is probably one of the most important tips when shopping for a car. Not knowing your cars warranty policy could potentially cost you thousands of dollars, depending on what might need done after you drive off the lot.
A few questions to keep in mind: What does the warranty include? How many miles does the warranty last for? Is there a certain warranty mileage or expiration date that I need to be aware of? Is there a warranty fee?
Not all pre-owned cars come with a warranty, but if it does, make sure to thoroughly read over the terms and ask any questions if you need clarification. If the warranty is something that does not meet your expectations, bring that to the salesman’s attention – and remember, only agree to what you’re comfortable with.
- TRY GETTING PREAPPROVEDRead our post on How to Buy a Used Car with Bad Credit and see how easy it is to get pre-approved with Prestige Auto Group. OR, if you want to skip the blog post and just go straight to getting preapproved visit PrestigeAutoFamily.com/preapproved
Shopping around with different lenders will allow you to find the best financing options for your present situation. Once you know the results, you’ll be able to: 1. Save Time (important) and 2. Save Money by being able to better compare terms and hopefully put a few dollars back in your pockets.
Get pre-approved today with our online credit application.
- START WITH A BUDGET
The Best Way (and Place) to Buy a Car on a Budget
Our rankings are the best in the business when it comes to giving car shoppers clear, actionable, and unbiased advice. We select the best cars with good value over the long haul and not just the day you buy them. Saving up for that car and finally getting one is the best reward for all your hard work – it’s time to get you back time in your day and money in your pocket!
The above tips might seem far-fetched at first, but just motivate yourself and be responsible for saving. The key to getting the best deal is to research, prepare the requirements, and go easy on the budget. Put your armour on before you set out to buy a car.
So now that you know you CAN get a great car while also on a budget, are you looking forward to getting started with this process? If you have friends and family who are also going through this car-shopping stage, share this article with them to help relieve some of the stress of the car-buying experience.