Next to a home, a car is perhaps the largest purchase that we make. Unfortunately, unlike a home, cars do not appreciate in value, they depreciate. With the average cost of a car well over twenty thousand dollars, it is more important than ever to buy smart.
Most of this guide is designed to help you save money on the purchase of a new car. Indeed, if you follow the advice in this guide, you may well save many thousands of dollars on a single purchase. But before you rush out and get a great deal on a car, please give serious consideration to which car you buy. I realize that I am probably preaching to the converted since you are taking the time to read this. Nevertheless, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of choosing a car wisely. Pay special attention to two areas:
- How well it suits your needs
- The car’s resale value.
Many of the disappointed or frustrated customers that I’ve seen in my day would have been much better off if they had paid more attention to these two areas. Buying a car that doesn’t suit your needs very well (i.e. it doesn’t fit your family well; uses more gas than you expected; has the payments that are too high) may cause you to sell or trade-in too early and set you up for big losses. Buying a car with poor resale value could mean paying for a car for years only to sell or trade-in and find that you have little or no equity; or worse yet, still owe more than it’s worth.
Think about the car you have now and how well it suited you. Give some thought to what you might want or need that is different. What changes have occurred or will soon occur in your life that may affect your needs in a car? Then make sure the car you buy has a higher than average resale value. I know that selling the car that you haven’t even bought yet is the furthest thing from your mind; but believe me, that day will come and when it does you’ll be in much better shape.