Be Financially Smart When Buying A Car

By Maniyah Goodwine

If your are tired of taking the Rutgers buses and ordering Ubers and Lyfts, you might be ready to buy a car. Maybe your job, internship, or volunteer work is located quite a distance from you. There are several factors you must keep in mind.

  • Affordability: Creating a budget beforehand is crucial to the car buying process. Knowing how much money you will spend or are willing to spend will help you narrow your choices. You may find that a used car is more affordable than something brand new. In addition to knowing how much in total you would like to spend, if you are financing your new set of wheels, you must understand how much you have to spend as a down payment and the how much the subsequent payments each month would be.
  • Reliability: We all know that a Mustang or Jeep is probably more aesthetically pleasing and cooler than the small Toyota, but getting where you need to go is more important than looking good, especially when buying your first car. Research the reliability and average price of repairs and parts for your prospective car to see if you can afford the maintenance. Do not forget to take the price of gas into consideration!
  • Insurance: People often forget to factor in their insurance costs. Insurance may vary based on factors like your age, your grades, your credit score, amount of traffic tickets, and so much more. Although it varies by state, you must have insurance on your car.
  • Payment: While you might want to pay for your new vehicle up front, your financial circumstances might not allow you to give as much as you can for your down payment so that your monthly payments won’t be high. Make sure the amount you will be paying monthly is within your price range. Failure to make these payments will result in your car being repossessed and put your credit score in jeopardy.
  • Bring somebody knowledgeable about cars with you if possible: At most car dealerships, it is the salesperson’s job to sell you the car at the highest price they can. Salespeople will pressure you into buying a vehicle, since they may be payed commission based on how many cars they can sell. Bringing somebody for a second opinion on the car you are looking at is never a bad idea, especially if they have significant knowledge on cars.
  • Don’t settle. If for any reason you are not one hundred percent on the car you are looking at, do not settle. A car is a big investment; an investment you should be absolutely sure of before you make it.

Not quite ready to head to a dealer? You can also search for cars on online databases. Here are just a few: