6 Ways to Save Money When Purchasing a Car

No matter what kind of car you’re considering, choosing to buy is a huge financial decision. You’re planning to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a single purchase–and it’s a purchase that’s going to need to last at least a few years.

However, there’s no reason you have to pay the exorbitant amount that the dealership is asking for. With the right knowledge, approach, and tricks, you can buy a car for less than you think. Here’s what you need to consider before you hand over your hard-earned dollars for any vehicle.

1. You like what you like. Brainstorm – narrow down the essentials and luxuries you want in your next car. It’s important to have an idea of what you’re looking for so you don’t end up buying frivolously. Imagine purchasing a two-door sports car when you really needed a four-door SUV to fit the baby seats. The sports car sounded good at the time, but now your wife is yelling at you and you know you’ll never hear the end of it. Be prepared and bring a list of needs and wants!

2. Money, Money, Money, Money, MONEY! Always buy in cash if possible. It’s hard to imagine having enough cash lying around to purchase a car, but loans have interest and you end up paying more in the end. Try to save a little each month and before you know it you’ll be able to buy the car of your dreams (or at least something close to it).

3. What’s old to you, is new to me. Buying used can save you tons. They say a new car loses up to 11% of its value the minute you drive it off the lot. Their loss can be your gain. A year-old car costs significantly less than its new counterpart and usually has similar features. It will also be easier to buy a used car in cash than a brand-new model.

4. Negotiation is key! Whether new or used, every dealership is open to negotiation. Car buying should be considered an all-day event. It’s important to spend time at the dealership talking to the salespeople in order to get the best deal possible. Visiting more than one dealership or website is never a bad idea.

5. Why buy when you can trade? Cars are one of the few items where trading can replace or supplement currency. If you have a car at home and are looking for an upgrade, trade it in instead of selling it yourself.

6. Last but not least…Research, Research, Research! We cannot emphasize this enough. It’s vital to know what you want in a car but you should also know what’s available on the market. Knowing which brands, models and price points can significantly raise your chances of getting the best deal for your money.

Speaking of research, utilize these six tips when you’re ready to buy and save yourself the possibility of getting ripped off. Armed with this knowledge and research, you’ll be able to negotiate and demand the price you know your next car should be. Don’t forget to think these aspects through before you make a decision or sign on the dotted line.

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