Yes, my internet friends, it is that time. We are looking at buying a new car (or at least new to us). I can’t believe it, but it is time for me to enter the world of minivan moms. I once swore I would never drive one, but when you are thinking about adding more kids to the mix, very few other things can accommodate you unless you get a gigantic SUV that costs $150 a week in gas. Plus, my parents have a minivan and they are so easy to get used to.
Anyway, I thought I would share some tips to help you save money when buying a car. Let me just say, everything I am sharing I learned from the hubby. If it was up to me I would have a whopping car payment every month while leasing my Jaguar XK convertible.
- Buy used:It is evident that we adhere to this principle by the fact that we are driving cars that are 12 and 13 years old. Cars depreciate 60% in the first 4 years. It is one of the worst investments you can make. Buy a car a few years older and a majority of its depriciation has already taken place. Let some other sucker get stuck with it for the first couple years.
- Pay cash: I can proudly say that we have never had a car payment. The average American has a monthly payment of about $400 per month. So buy a cheap car with cash. Then bank your $400 a month and upgrade every couple of years. Or, drive a 13 year old car like us and use the almost $5000 a year not going to a car payment to take a sweet vacation with your hubby.
- Never lease: With very few exceptions, it is one of the least beneficial financial decisions you can make. You are basically renting a car and have nothing to show for it at the end. Plus there are usually all sorts of stipulations and restrictions that you would never have to contend wtih if you owned it outright.
- Try to buy from a private seller: You will get a better deal because you won’t encounter the $1200+ markup that dealers need to add onto the price of each car. It isn’t always possible to find the car you want anywhere but at a dealer, but try Craigslist, cars.com, and autotrader.com. You can even buy a car on Ebay (we sold one on ebay and had a really great experience).
There you have it. Also if you have a Toyota Sienna with 4WD you are selling for a steal, let me know. And if you see me driving a minivan around, you are not allowed to point and laugh.
For more tips check out Biblical Womanhood.