Is it me or are car prices going nowhere but up? When I was shopping for a car a couple of years ago, I went at the end of the model year. I did this because car manufacturers and dealers tend to give good deals during this period so they can get rid of old models for the newer versions (read: easy way to save money on a car).
When I was talking to the salesman, his pitch included that the new model – which was virtually unchanged – was going to start $2,000 higher than the one I was looking at! In the end, I went with another car entirely.
But this experience got me to thinking about the car buying process in general. What are the best ways to save money on a car since they do cost so much? After a lot of research, I’ve come up with 5 tips that will help you to save the most money when buying a car.
6 Tips To Easily Save Money On A Car
#1. Take Into Account Reliability
When buying a car, you want one this is going to last, right? You’d be a fool to buy something that is going to fall apart in 2 years or will dissolve if a drop of rain touches it. While most cars are fairly reliable and all should be able to handle the rain, there is a big difference when it comes to long term reliability.
For the most part, Toyota (and Lexus, which Toyota owns), tops the list of reliability. Honda is usually up there as well.
When you are in the market for a new car, take into account its reliability. Read reviews and check out forums from car enthusiasts online. The more you know how well a car is built, the better off you will be in the long.
This is because repair costs can add up over time. Plus, if you have a car that is known to be of poor quality, it will be harder to sell it when you are ready to move onto another car.
#2. Understand The Price
Don’t make the mistake most people make. They look at the monthly payment as a guide for what they can afford. They should be looking at the overall payment.
Here is why. The dealer can play with the interest rate and term, along with getting you to change your down payment amount to get you to your monthly payment number. While this all sounds harmless on the surface, it really is a problem when you look at the overall cost you pay.
When you pick a monthly payment, you open yourself up to paying thousands in interest charges. Be a smart car shopper and talk about overall costs when buying a car and not the monthly payment. If you can do just this tip out of all of the ones in this post, you will save money on a car.
#3. Keep It For A Long Time
Another key to saving money on a car is to keep them for a long time. You’ll hear people talk about keeping cars until the wheels fall off. You don’t have to go to that extreme, but you should keep a car 10 years or longer.
With how well built cars on today, this should not be an issue. Now, you might say your car will look like junk in 10 years. But if you take care of it, it will still look good, many years later.