Stretching Your Car Buying Dollar

Everybody loves getting a good deal — right? Scoring an outstanding price on a special bit of kit is one of the best feelings of all. This is particularly true when it comes to buying a new car. This is due in large part to the fact that buying a car can be such a stressful experience.

Here’s the thing, though: That stress is designed to make shoppers pay more. Figure out how to beat the stress and you get a great price. With that in mind, here are some tips for stretching your car-buying dollar.

1. Take Your Time

Anybody who goes out and buys a car on a whim without researching the market will, in all likelihood, pay too much. Similarly, anyone who rushes through the car

buying process will pay more than they should. When you take your time and examine all of the options you’ll see there are many ways to get more for less.

2. Consider a Certified Pre-Owned Car

With the extended model cycles manufacturers observe today, you can buy a two- or even a three-year-old car that looks just like a new one and offers many of the same features. You’ll let the dreaded first year depreciation hit be absorbed by somebody else and still get a factory warranty — as well as many of the same financing opportunities. 

3. Aim for the Middle

If you decide to go new to lease or buy a car, look at a mid-range model rather than the top of the line version of the car you’re after. In most cases, they’ll carry many of the most desirable options, while costing just a bit more than the base model. Meanwhile, the top of the line version with all of the “goodies” can cost considerably more.

4. Buy Off the Lot

Sure, you have the exact color and equipment you want. And, a dealer is more than happy to do trades with other dealers or even order from the factory so you can get exactly what you want. However, they also have a lot of very similar cars on the lot — very similar cars that are costing them money every day they sit there. Knowing this, you can offer to forego getting exactly what you want and choose something from their stock on hand, if they’ll give you a better price.

5. Sell Your Current Car on Your Own

Yes, trading your car in at a dealership is both easy and convenient. However, it’s also costly. You’ll never, under any circumstances, realize the full value of your car as a trade-in. Dealers buy with selling in mind. This means they’ll offer you as little as possible to give themselves room to sell it for what you could sell it for on your own. Yes, it takes a bit of effort to sell a car, but people do it each and very day. It really isn’t that difficult. Which brings us back to number one above — be willing to take your time.

6. Plan to Keep the Car for 10 Years or More

Today’s cars are easily capable of going 200,000 miles and beyond. Routine maintenance and a caring attitude are all it takes to get you there. If you buy a car, finance it over five years, keep it for 10 years and save the monthly payment amount each month after the loan is paid off, you’ll be in a position to pay cash for your next car in that 10th year. Plus, you’ll have the money you got for selling your current car. Moreover, if you continue saving in that fashion, you’ll never have to finance another car.

When it comes down to it, stretching your car-buying dollar is really a mater of to exercising patience and discretion. You’ll save a lot of money if you master those two qualities.

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