Choosing the Right Vehicle for Your Needs
When the time comes to buy a new or used vehicle, it’s a little more complicated than choosing a car you want, using a car loan calculator to decide what you can afford, and buying the car or truck of your dreams. If you are searching for bad credit loans, it is in your best interest to ensure the vehicle you settle on is one you can afford. You can start by choosing the right vehicle for your needs.
Arrange Financing First
It may seem a little backwards, but it’s actually best to arrange the financing for your vehicle first. This is especially true if you are shopping for a car or truck when you have had trouble with your credit in the past. Arranging your car auto loan in advance allows you to go shopping for your new vehicle with an exact figure in mind, saving you the time and trouble of looking around for the perfect car only to be disappointed when you find that you can’t qualify for a loan for that amount. Be sure to only apply for an auto loan at one company so it eliminates the chance of lowering your credit score and making the process more difficult.
Arranging your auto financing first can also help to keep you from getting sidetracked when choosing your vehicle. There are a lot of facts and figures floating around when negotiating a purchase price, so when you have looked at several cars on multiple lots, it can be hard to keep track of the best possible deal. When you are trying to get a bad credit car loan, the process doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult. If you already know your financing is secure, it’s just one less thing to worry about. Apply for auto financing now, and then go find the best car your needs.
Set a Firm Budget
Owning a car is about more than making your car payment on time every month. Gas, insurance and maintenance costs all need to be factored into your monthly budget. Resist the temptation to buy the most expensive car you think you can afford, because a car you can’t drive because you can’t afford a critical repair is not much use to you. To set a firm budget, you will need to have a really good handle on details like how much driving you plan to do every month. Make sure you know how many kilometers you will be commuting to and from work each day. This information is taken into account when your auto insurance company is assessing your annual premium, and it will factor heavily in determining your monthly gas budget.
If you are wondering why the gas budget matters so much, consider this:
Your daily commute of 25 kilometers each way can cost $100 per month in a small, fuel efficient car; or $220 per month in a large truck. To understand how much it will cost to operate your vehicle, visit this driving costs calculator with a few of the vehicles on your short list. The results may be surprising. That additional money spent going to and from your workplace will be an extra pinch on top of a new car payment, so pay attention to the cost per kilometer estimates in the car’s specs. You may find that choosing a fuel-efficient vehicle will keep you from entering into a car ownership arrangement that is impossible to maintain over the long term.
Have Realistic Expectations
We have probably all had some vision of ourselves driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible with the wind blowing through our hair, or experiencing the exhilaration of putting the pedal to the metal in a sports car on the Autobahn. But those are just fantasies! We are real people, maneuvering through heavy traffic in the sometimes harsh driving conditions of the Greater Toronto Area. The fun little car you have your heart set on is of no use if you can’t get it out of a long driveway when there is more than a sprinkle of snow. Make sure when you’re narrowing down your short-list of cars, you’re choosing a car for the life you have now, not the one you have in your dreams.
If you are looking into car loans as a first step to building or rebuilding credit, ensuring affordability is going to be a key to your decision making process. A simple car with relatively few bells and whistles can mean fewer repair expenses, an important consideration when you are on a tight budget. Everything you can do to keep the purchase price and operating expenses of your new car or truck as low as possible will help lower the overall cost of owning that vehicle.
Make a Check List
When it comes down to it, you may have to make some concessions on your want list for your new vehicle. That’s why you need to decide what is a “nice to have” versus what is truly a “must have.” If you have small children that you will be driving around with, for example, a car that can accommodate a big, rear-facing car seat is a “must have,” where an in-car entertainment system is more of a “nice to have” luxury item. When you’re compiling the list of everything you want in your new vehicle, really ask yourself what you’re prepared to hold firm on having, and what you’re prepared to live without.
When it comes time to negotiate the final price for your vehicle, you will have more leverage if you’re willing to concede on some of your “nice to have” options, especially if you’re buying a new car. Last year’s model without heated seats can be dramatically less expensive than the latest model that does have that coveted feature. Besides, if you have heated seats you’ll accidentally flip the switch one day in the middle of summer and spend the whole day cranking up the A/C while wondering why you still feel so hot!
If you are planning your next vehicle purchase, remember the first point – get your financing in order before you do anything else! Do you know somebody else who is struggling to narrow down their choices when picking a new or used vehicle? Share this post with them now!