Many people need a car to get around. You can’t always rely on public transport or take the time to walk or cycle everywhere. Even if you can do those things, it doesn’t mean you want to. So when your car starts to get on its last legs, you need to look for your next one to replace it. Saying goodbye to your faithful companion is hard, but finding something new to drive can be exciting. Unfortunately, you can also feel the sting of it financially. However, if you need a car, there’s no avoiding coughing up the cash. You can make some savings, though, so you won’t have to pay more than you can afford. Here’s what you can do to stick to your budget.
Buy Used – Cautiously
The first thing you should consider if you want to save on a car is whether buying new is really necessary. Does your car need to be completely new? For some people, the answer is yes; they won’t settle for anything less. But many others are happy to think about buying a used vehicle. New cars start losing their value as soon as they have left the dealership. Within the first three years, they could be worth half as much as they were new. A used car could save you a lot of money, even if it’s only a couple of years old. However, you do need to be cautious if you decide to buy used. Before you commit to buying a used car, make sure you perform a vehicle history HPI Check. It will tell you all you need to know about the car, from the number of previous owners to whether it has been stolen.
Keep Depreciation in Mind
If you do buy a new car, it’s important to remember that its value will depreciate. As soon as it has had one owner, even for a few months, it will be worth less. Some cars lose their value much quicker than others. It all depends on the make and model, so it’s important to find out which ones hold their value best. If you’re hoping to sell your car in the future, a car that depreciates faster is going to lose you money. You can check out which cars hold their value by using a car depreciation calculator. For example, there is one on What Car? that you might find useful. You don’t necessarily have to buy the most expensive car to get one that depreciates slower than others.
Consider the Lifetime Cost
Before you buy a car, you have to think about the cost to run it and keep it going. Apart from the initial cost, there’s also tax, insurance, fuel, and maintenance to consider. It’s not too hard to find out about how much a car is going to cost you to run. Of course, you can’t predict costs such as repairs if you get into an accident. But you can tally up expenses including fuel, insurance, and MOTs. If cheap running costs are important to you, you can easily find lists of the cheapest cars to run online.
Buy at the Right Time
Believe it or not, buying a car at a certain time will help to save you money. If you’re able to wait a few months, you could get a better deal. Of course, it’s not always possible to do this. Sometimes, your old car is a write-off, and you desperately need a new one. But if you’re able to wait, you could save a lot of money. There are a few reasons you might be able to grab some great deals. For example, dealers might be trying to meet their targets at the end of each quarter. So March, June, September and December can be excellent times to get a great discount. Even the type of car could make a difference. For example, more people want to buy a convertible in the summer, so it’s best to look during the rest of the year.
Make Sure You’re Not Buying More Than You Need
We can all easily be tempted into buying something that goes beyond our requirements. Salespeople try to upsell things to you all the time, whether you’re getting a TV or just going food shopping. When you buy a new car, there’s no point spending extra on features you don’t need. You should write a list of all your essentials so you know what you’re looking for. Don’t allow yourself to be convinced that you absolutely need something that isn’t that necessary.
Buying a car can be expensive, but you can still save money. Learn the tricks of the trade so you can get a discount on your next car.