Make Smart Car Shopping Decisions with These Tips

Looking to buy a car soon?  Feeling stressed at the thought of one more monthly payment?  Whether it’s high interest rates or expensive insurance premiums, having a car can be a strain on the wallet. Don’t worry, with a little effort and a little know how, you can find a deal that won’t break your budget.  If you want to save on purchasing a car, keep these tips in mind:

Check the Online Classifieds.  If you’re serious about avoiding monthly payments and don’t mind doing some leg work, Craig’s List and other online classifieds sites are the way to go.  You’ll be surprised how many people want to sell their vehicles at affordable prices when you offer them cash.  Even vehicles with over 100,000 miles can be worth the trouble since, with proper maintenance, many popular vehicles can be driven well over 200,000 miles.

  • If you use these sites, take a few precautions so you don’t get scammed. Check the Kelly Blue Book value of the car you are buying so you have an objective reference for negotiation, and make sure you have the car checked out by a mechanic you trust before any money changes hands.  Meet with potential sellers in a public place which is not your home – it never hurts to play it safe!

Go to a dealer.  If you’d rather not deal with the hassle of scheduling meetings with random people, there are plenty of deals to be found at car dealerships, especially during fall months.  As next year’s models arrive on their lots, car dealers are offering affordable lease payments for this year’s models (which are still new).  If you’d rather purchase a used car, Fall is still a good time to find deals on used car loans. Many dealerships are looking to restock their inventory with the newest year’s models and typically offer deals on the last year’s models.

Get Auto Insurance.  Once you’ve found the car for you at the price you want, don’t forget to get affordable coverage.

Whatever you do, be patient and make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before buying a particular vehicle. As with any major purchase, putting forth the effort to do a little research before buying a car will pay off in the long run.