Determine what type of Cars or Trucks, Vans, SUVs you are interested in.
A few questions you must answer are:
- New or used, minivan, car, pick up, SUV?
- Do you want a new vehicle or will you settle for used if you can get a better vehicle?
Once you decide what type of vehicle you need you can then work on your car buying budget.
A couple of items to consider;
How many miles per year do you estimate you will put on your vehicle? If you put lots of miles on the vehicle, you must be prepared to replace the vehicle sooner than a person that hardly drives. We remember a person that had a 6 year contract and by the third year had already put 175,000 miles on it and it was ready for replacement.
Who will I be transporting around? Children, pets, co-workers, in-laws with long legs? Will you be pulling a trailer or a boat? Do you frequently take long trips?
GAS MILEAGE, the price of gas is high and don’t expect it to go down any time soon. Do a weekly cost estimate based on the current per gallon rates and the projected mileage the vehicle should get.
Be realistic. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it!
A good salesperson will work the numbers hard to make the deal fly, but you may end up with a 6+ year contract to pay off.
You are buying a car not a house, so 3-4 years later when you are ready for another vehicle you will still owe 2-3 more years on your 4 year old vehicle. Scary thought, isn’t it?
If you can’t make the deal work with 4 years or less you may want to look at less expensive new vehicle or a slightly used vehicle with low miles.
Make a list of the types, makes and models you are interested in.
To get the invoice prices on new vehicles or book values on used, we recommend the Kelley Blue Book site. Keep in mind that the supply and demand of vehicles will affect what you will actually pay at the dealership. Some hard to find or newly released vehicles will sell for sticker and in some cases above! Now you are ready to establish your Budget!