Frugal Car Buying: A Complete Guide To Getting The Best Deal

PinExt Frugal Car Buying: A Complete Guide To Getting The Best Deal

convertible Frugal Car Buying: A Complete Guide To Getting The Best Deal Are you sure you know how to get a good deal on a car?

Several people are buying cars these days.  I guess the Cash for Clunkers program was just the deal that many were looking for to get them in the car buying mood.  However, I wonder, “Are they really getting the best deal?

I think this question haunts us all when we go to buy a car.  It seems that the dealers have so many tricks up their sleeves to milk us of every penny possible.  That’s why it is so important to arm yourself properly before buying a car. 

Knowledge is power in this game  So, I’ve assembled this guide to help you get the best deal possible the next time you decide to buy a car.

7 frugal car buying tips to save you from getting ripped off

There is a lot you need to know to get the best deal on a car.  Walking into a dealership or even going to a private seller without doing your research up front is a dangerous thing to do.  Lack of knowledge and naiveté can cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

This article is full of great resources to properly equip yourself so you won’t get ripped off.  I have zeroed in on what I consider the seven most important things to consider to get the best deal.  Here they are:

1.  Decide what you want before you go to buy

As I’ve already said, you do not want to wander on to a lot like a sheep being led to the slaughter.  It will cost you money.  You probably already know in your head a short list of models that you’ll be considering.  Research them online or visit car dealers when they are closed to gather information and to window shop.  Develop a short list before you visit a seller.  This will help you avoid getting swept off in the wrong direction.

2.  Decide whether you want a new car or a used car

This is an important question to consider.  Personally, I think that buying a car that is two to three years old with low mileage is the best way to go, but everyone needs to consider this question for themselves.  In order to get the best deal, try to separate your emotions from this decision.  Sure, it is nice to have a perfect new car, but is it the best deal?  You decide!

3.  Decide if you will be buying or leasing

A car is a major purchase.  For most of us, it is the most expensive thing we’ll ever buy besides our home.  That’s why you need to really put some thought into it.  Of course, a part of getting a good deal is wrapped up in how you pay for your car.  There are basically two options.  You can either buy it or lease it.  I think buying is the better choice.  What do you think?

4.  Decide on paying cash or financing your car purchase

Yes, there really are people out there that pay cash for their vehicles.  Paying cash saves you tons of interest charges.  In order to get the best deal on a car, you have to look beyond your ability to afford the monthly payment.  You have to look at the big picture.  A car loan can cost you thousands of dollars in interest over five or six years.

5.   Decide your tactics for getting the best price

Negotiating the best deal on a car is tricky, there is no doubt about it.  The dealer is a very experienced at this process.  They do this all day long and they’ve honed their skills over many years.  This is their business and they know it well. 

You must be prepared to spend some time and walk out if necessary to get the best deal.  Also, don’t forget, the negotiating doesn’t end once you get to the finance guy.  He is also going to try to sell you things like car loans, leases, paint coatings, accessories and extended warranties.  Don’t let down your guard!

6.  Decide if going green is worth the money

There is a lot of talk nowadays about more environmentally friendly cars.  You can buy hybrids, electrics and plain gas engine vehicles that have higher fuel efficiency.  However, in some cases, you may pay more up front for these vehicles.  You have to decide if the benefits outweigh the costs.

7.  Decide how you will insure your car and what it will cost

Don’t forget that you are going to have to buy insurance for the car you purchase.  It is a good idea to research this ahead of time so there are no surprises after you have bought your car.  You don’t want to find out after the fact that your new pride and joy is going to cost you hundreds of extra dollars in insurance.

These frugal car buying tips will help you save a boatload

It certainly takes time and patience to research your best deal on a car, but it is well worth the investment.  You can literally save yourself thousands of dollars.  I know you’ll find this list of resources a valuable aid in your next car purchase!

What is your best tip for saving money when buying a car?

Photo by ktylerconk

PinExt Frugal Car Buying: A Complete Guide To Getting The Best Deal

13 thoughts on “Frugal Car Buying: A Complete Guide To Getting The Best Deal

  1. Great tips! If you plan on financing make sure you know your credit score and what financing should cost before you go into the dealer. You might even want to get pre-approvel elsewhere first. The finance office at the dealer will do what they can to get back the money you thought you were getting on the cost of the car. So you might negotiate a great car package and then the finance manager will hook you with bad financing. We qualified for low financing over three years yet the manger tried to talk us into a higher percentage rate over five arguing that we would have lower monthly payments.
    .-= FFB´s last blog ..Car Allowance Rebate System – Cash For Clunkers =-.

  2. Thanks, I have a car that probably has a year left in it and know I need to begin looking and figuring out my price range and what I want before hand so when the time comes I can be prepared, do my research, and try to get the best deal possible, and of course save up for it.
    .-= Craig´s last blog ..How to Define Better Spending Categories. =-.

  3. @FFB – You are right about finance guys. They are salesmen just like the guys on the showroom floor. A lot of people relax a little once they agree on a price, but you’ve got to play through until the entire deal is done if you want to get the best deal possible.

    @Craig – Planning is a big part of getting the best deal. I’ve decided to pay cash for my next vehicle so I’ve been saving for awhile and I’ve been researching various models that catch my eye. This is somewhat dangerous because looking makes me want something I can’t have right now. It takes discipline to stay the course.

    Thanks for adding your thoughts!

  4. My most recent used vehicle purchase has so soured me on the used car market that I don’t know if I will ever buy another used car. Three months after the purchase, the engine blew. It cost nearly $6,000 to replace. The “warranty” that I was sold by the dealer paid me $350 of my expenses. I will chalk this one up to a very very expensive lesson. I used to say that the depreciation in buying a new car just isn’t worth it. After that experience, with the acquisition cost of the car, plus the engine replacement, I could be driving a much nicer car than I am now. I tried to be frugal and it literally blew up in my face. If I ever consider buying a used car again, it will be a certified car from the brand dealer, whether it happens to be VW, GM, or any other.
    .-= WP´s last blog ..Review: The Art of Non-Conformity =-.

  5. @WP – I am very sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience buying a used car. I’ve also had a bad experience buying a used vehicle. I bought it from an individual and it had been wrecked and there was a lot of hidden damage to the front-end that I later had to fix.

    On the other hand, I have bought more than 10 great used cars over the years and never had a major problem with any of them except that one. I’ve purchased from both dealers and individuals. I’ve also sold several good used vehicles that I know served the purchaser well for many years.

    Don’t let one lemon spoil the notion of buying slightly used vehicles. There are plenty of good ones out there. The sting from your recent catastrophe might be too fresh, but don’t rule out used cars down the road. I honestly believe they are the better deal even after my one bad experience.

    New cars are not without their issues either. If you search the Internet just a little you can find horror stories about buying new vehicles as well. The chances might be lower, but it still happens.

    In order to reduce your risk with used cars, I think it is very important to pay a little money up front to get a car checked out by an independent, trusted mechanic. I know it would have saved me a lot of money on the bad apple that I bought.

    Just my thoughts…I hope it helps. Thanks for sharing your story!

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  8. fantastic put up, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists of this sector do not realize this. You should continue your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

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