Have you ever bought a brand new or slightly used vehicle? If you have, then you may have been slightly intimidated during the selection and purchase process. The truth is that vehicles are one of the most expensive items that a middle class individual can purchase. Aside from your mortgage payments, your car payments may be the next largest influence on your bank account or monthly budget. Since purchasing a vehicle is such a big investment, it is important to approach the act with financial wisdom and a predetermined plan concerning financing wheels or other automotive parts. If you would like to sharpen up with a few financial tips concerning your vehicle(s), then you have come to the right place. Take a look at the information below to learn how you can wisely approach the financial aspects of your vehicle ownership.
Look at The Big Picture
If you have ever visited a typical car lot, then you are probably well aware of the somewhat pushy nature of car salesmen. Do you remember one of their key tactics? They were probably insistent upon giving you information concerning the low monthly payments of this vehicle or that one. These low monthly payments might sound tempting to those who are seeking the most frugal decision; however, focusing on monthly payments neglects the “big picture” of the car purchasing process. If you make the mistake of getting overly enthusiastic about monthly payments, you may totally forget to calculate how long you will be making said payments. Do you want to pay off your car for the next 50 years? Of course not! Approach car dealerships with a preconceived notion of your ideal timeline so that you do not get pushed around with sneaky sales tactics.
Watch Out for the “Frills”
The company that sells you a vehicle can include whatever they want to in the purchase agreement/loan agreement. Everyone likes to skip past all of the “boring” stuff and hit “I agree to your terms and conditions” when downloading a new app; however, purchasing a car is far more important than purchasing a $0.99 health improvement app for your iPhone or Android! The point is that you need to very, very carefully consider the information in your agreement before signing on the dotted line. Read the small print that no one else wants to take the time to read. It is important to know what you are agreeing to when you sign your name. If a car salesman attempts to throw in an extra warranty that you do not know about, you should be prepared to confront him or her about the issue. They may try to convince you to purchase top-of-the-line wheels instead of simply financing wheels that are more affordable and get the job done just as well. Avoiding these “frills” will help you save money and be an overall wiser shopper.
As mentioned briefly above, it is important to have a game plan before you start shopping for a car. In fact, you should know how much you can spend on a car before you even set foot on the car lot. Sit down with a friend or family member and work through your budget. Keep an eye out for loopholes and do not forget to include the cost of insurance and potential maintenance fees. For example, you should be prepared for payments associated with your vehicle like wheel financing, etc.
The next time you decide to go car shopping, keep these tips in mind. They will make your experience far more enjoyable and significantly more reliable.