If you’re like most drivers, you spend several hours behind the wheel every week. You drive to work, run errands and even hit the road to relax and unwind when things feel overwhelming. With so much time spent in your car, it’s important that you love the car you drive. If the time has come to upgrade your wheels, you shouldn’t have to settle for less just because buying your dream car seems a bit too expensive. Here are a few tips to help you afford the ride of your dreams without stress.
Start Saving up Now
When it comes to buying your dream car, you’re going to need to have money saved up to use toward the purchase, your registration costs and new insurance policy. The sooner you start setting money aside, the easier it will be to build your savings up. You don’t have to start big. Even a few dollars a week can add up over time. If you’re finding it hard to set money aside, try setting goals. Plan to have a certain amount of money saved up by a set date and keep that date in mind. Often, it’s easier to save if you have a clear goal in place.
Build Your Credit Score
Unless you’re planning to pay for your dream car with cash alone, you’re going to need to get a loan to cover the rest of the purchase price. This is nothing to be ashamed of, but it does mean you’ll want to show your credit score a little TLC before you start applying for financing. Check your credit score and see where you stand. If it’s high, do what you can to keep it that way before you apply for a loan. If it’s on the low end (think anything below 650), do what you can to build it back up. Pay down your existing debts, pay your bills on time and avoid taking out new loans or credit cards for a while. This will help you raise your score quickly.
Look Into Your Loan Options
Once your credit score is in good shape, you can start looking for auto financing options for your dream car. If you’re buying from a local dealership, you may be able to take a loan out through their financing department, but you don’t have to. You can always approach your preferred bank or lender for an auto loan on your own. The best thing you can do is to get quotes from several lenders. Compare the amounts they offer you and the interest rates each loan has. You’ll want to choose the loan that gives you the most money with the lowest interest rate possible.
Unfortunately, cars aren’t priced consistently across dealerships. This means you could end up overpaying for your dream car unless you do a little research. Once you’re ready to look for your new set of wheels, make sure to shop around. Compare the prices and vehicle conditions at different dealerships in the area. Remember, this is your dream car and you deserve to be able to drive the best version possible.
Don’t Be Afraid To Buy Used
Though it’s tempting to buy a brand new car, it’s not always possible or financially responsible. Instead of just looking at new makes and models in your area, look at used versions, too. Vehicles depreciate in value the minute you drive them off the lot and when you buy new, you bear the brunt of that depreciation. If you’re buying used, the cars have already depreciated and you’ll be able to take advantage of a much lower purchase price. Just remember to do your due diligence and make sure the used car comes from a reputable seller. You can always hire an independent mechanic to inspect it if you’re unsure of the maintenance history or the car’s overall condition.
Keep these things in mind and you’ll be driving the car of your dreams in no time.