Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tips to Save Money when Buying a Car

Hi, friends! How was your weekend? I had a few vacation days to use up from 2012, so it was a four-day weekend for me. I didn't do anything crazy, mostly errands and catching up on sleep. The highlight of the weekend was building our crib! Which puts us one mini-step closer to being ready!

Another potential item on our to-do list is buying a new (to us) car. My car is getting up there in miles and we're starting to get to our breaking point with repair costs. We haven't had any major work done recently (knock on wood), but would rather not continue to throw money at the car. If anyone else is in the market for a new car, I have a great guest post from Melanie Lewis on ways to save money when buying a car:

When it comes to making major purchases, buying a new or used car ranks right up at the top of the list. In fact, it can seem like too daunting of a task to some people because of the high cost. Luckily, there are several ways to reduce the cost of buying a car.

Buying a vehicle should be a thrilling experience, but it can be difficult to be excited about it considering how much money will be expended. Saving money can take some of the sting out and make it fun again.

Pay cash
The best way to save money will take some advanced planning and time. By saving enough money to buy a vehicle with cash, consumers can save a great deal of money by not paying the interest that comes along with financing through a car loan. In addition, some dealerships may offer special incentives for those that are willing to pay cash. It can also strengthen a customer’s bargaining position since it will show they are serious about the purchase.

Before heading out to any dealerships, take the time to complete a little research. Know what type of vehicle will best suit your needs. If gas mileage is important, look at which ones have the best rates. Those with a good safety record might also be important to note. Making a list of the most desirable vehicles will make it less likely to be swayed by a salesman’s pitch at the dealer.

Shop around
Once the list has been made, it’s time to start shopping around. Go to more than one dealer and compare prices as well as options. This can also include shopping online at websites that collect various offers. Dealers are highly competitive, so don’t be afraid to point out what deals another seller might be offering.

Buy used
While most people dream of buying a new car, purchasing a used vehicle can mean getting a quality car at the fraction of the cost of a new one. A dealership will often still offer a warranty on used vehicles it sells, which takes away some of the risk. Even less expensive would be to search the classified ads of the local newspaper. It should be noted, however, that before buying any car from a private seller that the car should be inspected by an independent mechanic first to make sure it’s not a lemon.

When people think about saving money on a car purchase, many think only about the purchase price, but long-term costs associate with the vehicle should also be considered. This includes insurance and fuel costs. Sportier cars will have higher insurance premiums. Look for cars with high gas mileage, which will save on fuel costs.

Saving money can put the joy back into the process of buying a car. There are several ways to accomplish this, and most just require a little patience and planning on the part of the consumer.

Thanks, Melanie! We'll definitely keep these tips in mind as we continue our search for a new car. So far, we've looked at reviews on websites like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds.com. We also visited a dealer to gather more information and see a few car models in person. We're still deciding whether to get a car or something bigger. Either way, we're mostly likely going to buy something used and pay cash (i.e. the Bohemian credit plan).

This is a guest post from Melanie Lewis. Melanie writes for a site that has information on used car auto loans and offers advice on things to consider before borrowing money to purchase a vehicle.
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