It’s a new year and a new you, right? Maybe that means it’s also time for a new car. There are a lot of items and planning to take into consideration when purchasing a new car, so we made a list.
Start off by deciding what you can reasonably afford. A new car doesn’t necessarily have to mean brand new. It could just mean new to you. Assess your current budget with how much you make each month and any extra income, and then take into account your rent or mortgage, and any other expenses you have.
Make sure you have enough to spare to ensure you are putting less than 20 percent of your income toward your car payment each month. Try to save as much money as you can for a down payment to make your interest rates lower and keep your monthly payments lower. Check your credit score to see what kind of car is feasible with your score, your budget, and your savings.
Jade Beckerman, vice president of consumer loans at, Mountain America Credit Union advises to “do everything possible prepare your credit score for your car loan. The better your credit score, the more likely you are to get a good rate on your loan. Pay your debts on time, avoid carrying a balance of more than 50% of the total limit of your credit cards, check your credit report for errors, and have a plan to reduce your debt. Do what you can to bump up your credit score before applying for that car loan.”
Do some research on the type of car you would like that fits within your budget. Ask friends and family what kind of car they like and take into account what things you are looking for in a new car. Look online to compare prices between different brands, makes and models to see what will fit best for what you want and comes within your budget. Plan out what color and look you want, and then start visiting dealerships or looking online for the car you want.
Newer cars have so many new features that help with safety, comfort, and provide luxury. One feature to consider is a wireless backup camera. Music can also be a big selling point to people. Another thing to consider is the fabric of the seats, the layout of the car, and any other features like side mirrors with blind spot magnifiers. One nice thing to remember though, is that a lot of things like a wireless backup camera, great stereo, and other features can be installed on your own.
Once you have an idea of the car you want, the features you desire, and have a plan to get the car, look into the maintenance on the car. Take note once you purchase the car of what kind of things you need to regularly check. Set reminders on your calendar for when to change the oil, rotate the tires, and do other routine maintenance checks to give yourself the biggest bang for your buck.
Getting a new car is thrilling! It can change your life in so many positive ways. Just make sure you buy one within your reasonable budget, compare prices, consider the features, and find the best car for you!