Car shopping can bring many emotions: hope, stress, excitement, relief, who knows. Depending on your situation it could bring both positive and negative feelings. I personally like to keep my vehicles until their on their last leg. Why? Let’s face it you almost never get as much for your car on a trade in or sale as you hoped. If you’re lucky enough for your vehicle to last a good many years it’s possible to pay off your vehicle and still have it running for several years after. That’s where my hubby is at now. He bought his vehicle brand new, it’s paid off but still runs like a champ. We know vehicles don’t last forever so we save for a down payment on the next car, whenever that may be.
Consider the fact that vehicles depreciate…fast. Even if you buy a new car, as soon as you sign those papers and drive it off the lot it depreciates. There are dealerships that off longer warranties on vehicles. There is one particular dealership near me that offers “warranty forever”. I’m not quite sure how that works, I’d guess there still has to be stipulations but sounds good off that bat. So if you keep your car within the warranty range you can save money on repairs and upkeep.
If your buying a used car, you can find great deals. I personally have never had a new car myself. I always buy used cars. I bought my 2006 Chrysler Pacifica with just 33,000 miles on it. This vehicle had just about everything in it it could have. Things I would have never paid the extra for if I would have bought it brand new. Leather seats, heated seats, dual air, keyless entry, power everything, lots of bells and whistles. Make a list of what you NEED in a vehicle then you can make a list of what you’d like to have if it’s in your budget. Buying used allowed us to get a really nice vehicle for our family of 6 within our budget.
I researched the vehicles I wanted for nearly a year before actually buying. In that time we saved money for the down payment. A bigger down payment means smaller monthly payments. Researching everything from the number of passengers a vehicle seats, to safety features, to body styles can make you an educated buyer. Compare prices for the same vehicle at different dealerships. Never just accept the sticker price. Car dealers want to make a sale. You do need be reasonable but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to shave $500-$1000 or more off the sticker price. We got my vehicle for $1500 less than the sticker price! Guess what someone traded in that Pacifica with only 33000 miles on it. I’ve personally owned it for 5 years now and it’s still going strong. I expect to have it for another year or 2 at least. It’s up to 76000 miles now! This is the perfect time though to be saving for the next vehicle.
I realize there could be lots of reasons why one would need to trade in or keep a vehicle. I guess my take away points would be:
–research, research, research
–Don’t dismiss a used vehicle
–Decide what you NEED in a vehicle then think about what you WANT
–Consider keeping a vehicle that runs well, longer to save for your goal vehicle.
Speaking of goal vehicles, stop by my guest post to read about an eye opening experience from BMW.