Owning and operating a car is an expensive proposition in all ways. Even if someone managed to make their growing family fit into the most environment-friendly, fuel efficient compact car, that car is still going to cost a couple of thousand dollars a year in gas and maintenance. And if they joined the “keeping up with Joneses” club, that sport utility vehicle that was purchased under peer pressure will make them considerably poorer after all the automotive expenditures. In this section, we will talk about how to own and operate a car without spending a lot of money, how to save money if you need a loan and how to reduce the expenses in the long run.
For those who are about to purchase a new car similar to their neighbor’s car sitting on the driveway, think again! The biggest money pit is not the house mortgage or the college tuition but the passion for new cars every five years. While there is no denying that owning a new car can be exciting especially when it smells good, a considerable amount of pain is involved during this process as well. New cars, unlike a house or any other investment, lose their value the moment it is driven home from the dealer. On the other hand, you will be saving a lot of time, and energy, by buying used. You will be feeding less expensive stuff to your used car than new cars demand. In addition, your chances of getting stranded in the middle of your financial journey are high with a new car. With used cars and with the leftover money, you will be able to afford to buy groceries and other basic necessities from time to time.
Regardless of what you buy, you want to make sure that you are getting a good value for your money. The best thing to do in this case is to do your homework. You need to find out good dealers in the area or do some research online, that way there is plenty of time and information before talking to the salesperson. If the car you are buying needs a loan, be prepared with a pre-approved car loan so as to send a strong signal that you are a serious buyer. This may encourage the dealer to offer discounts and promotions on the potential car. In most cases, the sticker price does not suggest anything except the asking price of the dealer. It is better to ask the dealer the invoice of the car he got from the manufacturer. If the dealer doesn’t budge on the price, you can always ask for freebies or a set of accessories, a year worth of service and other items that would otherwise cost a lot. You will also be able to negotiate a better deal if you shop during the off-season. And most of all, compare between various makes and models, factoring in elements such as cost of maintenance, safety concerns and reviews.