How to save money on your first car
Saving for your first car might seem like a struggle, but you can save money by buying it used, getting great value car insurance, and/or by choosing a car that is economical on fuel.
Insure on the Spot is here to help you with more great tips and advice below!
Buying your first car can feel like a huge achievement, a step towards independence and personal freedom. But, as many first-time car buyers are still in their teens and often reliant on part-time jobs to support themselves while studying, buying a car is also a big monetary commitment. However, if you take all of the below tips into consideration, the dream of car ownership might be closer than you think.
Ensure you start with a set budget
Whether you’re a teenager buying your first car or a full time working adult, setting a budget is essential before you start the buying process. Consider, how much are the cars you’re looking at worth? And how much is having a car worth to you? Do you need a car to get to work or to the store? With a set budget in mind, you can more easily narrow down your options and find the right car for you.
For new car buyers: follow the 20% rule
If you decide to buy a new car from a dealership and are looking to finance it, follow the 20% rule; only choose to buy a car that you have a 20% down payment for. You should also only go down the financing route if you know for sure you’ll be able to make your payments each month, so that you don’t damage your credit score.
Love used cars
Cars lose some of their value as soon as they hit the road, so buying used can bring you huge savings, even if you choose to go for one that’s just a few years older than the latest model. Of course, the older it gets, the cheaper a car might go for, but you might want to balance the initial cost with the amount of maintenance and repairs it is likely to need in the future. If you can work on cars yourself, or have a family member you know is willing to help, an older vehicle might be for you, but maintenance and repair expenses soon add up. Whether you decide to buy a used car from a dealer or an independent seller, make sure you view the car with someone who knows a little about what to look for. It is usually a safe idea to have a mechanic inspect the used vehicle before your final purchase. View it in daylight, so you can easily check for rust, scratches or dents, and test drive the vehicle. When buying a used car, it’s also worth checking the value of the car before you put in an offer, via Kelly Blue Book or a similarly reputable evaluator.
Keep it basic
Sometimes it’s worth paying more for a car with better safety features or a particular feature you know you’ll love, but when you’re on a budget, extras and accessories can really start to add up. Particularly when buying a new car where the additional costs are clear, you might want to take time to consider whether built in navigation, in-car Wi-Fi or heated seats are worth the extra cost.
Gas and Maintenance
As soon as you become a car owner, gas and car maintenance will need to be part of your weekly, monthly, and yearly budget. Choosing a car that gets a great gas mileage can save you a lot of money in the long run, and cars that have less expensive replacement parts are also likely to pay off, in terms of maintenance bills.
Car insurance is essential for any car owner; it’s a legal requirement and will come with a huge dose of peace of mind. With Insure on the Spot, car insurance doesn’t need to be a huge hassle. We can offer you a quote in minutes, and are known for having the lowest rates in the Chicagoland area!