Consider This Before You Buy Your Next Car

by Kristina on March 18, 2012 · 4 comments

Good Morning DINKS.  Let me ask you a question, what details did you consider before you purchased your last car? When I bought my car I knew that I wanted a Honda because I come from a family of Honda owners, drivers, and employees.  However I did also consider a couple of other options before purchasing my new Honda such as gas mileage versus a Toyota and the overall cost versus a Mazda.

As you may remember from previous posts I absolutely regret purchasing my car.  It was an impulse purchase that I didn’t really think through. My brand new Honda Civic cost approximately $800 per month including the car payment, parking in my apartment building, monthly insurance premiums, and gas.  I didn’t use the car very much except for trips home to see my family and weekly grocery shopping. The monthly cost was definitely not worth the benefit of having a car. Almost 3 years after purchasing my car I sold it with approximately 35,000 miles on it.  There are some days that I definitely miss having a car, but I also enjoy having the extra monthly income.

MSN recently published an article that provides tips for shoppers who are considering buying a new car. Check out these tips before you purchase your next car:

1. Can you afford it? Having a car can be a financial burden. We should revisit our monthly budget to determine if we can really afford a car payment and all of the additional expenses that come with owning a car.

2. What do you want? Prioritize your needs before you start shopping around.  If we know what benefits we want from a car such as highway mileage, safety or model and style then we can narrow down our car search.

3. Do you really need it? Owning a car is convenient. But we have to ask ourselves if we really need a car to live, or do we just want it to make our life easier.

4. How much will you pay for insurance? Shopping around for car insurance is very important because insurance premiums can be a major monthly or annual expense. We may choose very basic insurance coverage in order to save on the monthly premiums, but if we ever damage our car or if our car is ever stolen we could end up with a major unexpected expense.

5. Will you be approved for financing? If we don’t have the cash to pay for our car then we will have to apply for financing with the car dealership or with our bank.  We should consider our current income as well as our current personal debts before applying for a car loan or financing.

6. Should you buy or lease a car? Everyone’s personal situation is different and the decision whether to lease or purchase a car is something that we have to consider when we are shopping for a car.  I purchased my car because I didn’t want to live in constant terror of being overcharged if I damaged the car.  I liked the freedom to use the car however I wanted to, but some people like the idea of having a new model every 3 to 4 years when they lease a car.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle March 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm

We bought our last car with cash. I don’t think I could never buy another car with financing.

2 Serenity March 18, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Welcome to my nightmare. I want a newer car, and before the year is out, my current beater of a car will give out and I will have no choice because it’s not worth fixing anymore. I’ve gone through a lot of those questions over and over again, but when it comes time to jump in and make the decision, I can’t do it. I know I want a good, well-reviewed used car, I know I can get financing, and I know I can afford to pay around $300 a month total. But I just keep chickening out. I don’t want to be in that spot where I have a car payment with a car I can’t stand or don’t use.

Oh, well. you live, you learn, right? And I wish you still had that Civic – I can’t find a good used one anywhere!

3 Kris @ Debt-Tips March 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

I know they’re not as exciting, but you can get really good used cars for a very good price. My most recent car purchase was a 1999 Honda Accord. We’ve also had great luck with Honda’s and not only didn’t I want a car payment, but I wanted to only use the cash I got from a recent accident so my budget was limited. The car is in good shape, reliable, and cost me less than $5000, and should last at least a few more years.

4 Kristina March 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I know some people who have bought used cars and they say that they will never buy a new car ever again. Somedays I miss my car, but I don’t miss the car expenses.

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