With the dry, warm summer days behind us, it is no wonder many of us are considering whether or not we’ll make the leap and buy a car. While there is no need to mention the pros of owning your own vehicle; emergencies, commuting, groceries and travel are at the top of the list. Like any wise purchase, careful consideration of the hard facts is of utmost importance:
The Time Parked vs. the Time in Use
Cars are, on average, parked 96% of the day. That’s why companies like CommunAuto have seen such growth. With a rise in communities dedicated to supporting the environment, anyone who doesn’t entirely rely on their vehicle could seriously consider life without one.
Will you be driving in the city or mainly the highway? Will your driving be recreational, or will you be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic morning and night? Fuel Economy can help you compare gas mileage according to a vehicle’s make and model. Remember that how you drive, especially if your car has a manual transmission, will also have a bearing on your gas consumption.
Leasing or Financing Your Vehicle
Leasing | Make sure you’ve considered which arrangement best suits your lifestyle and budget. What are the benefits of leasing a vehicle? You can get a good package deal on a brand-new car, and look forward to a trade-in when your terms are up. However, there are downsides to leasing. You can be penalized not only for surpassing mileage limits (per year, not just lease term) and for any dents, scratches or other damage, mild or severe. Investopedia lists each pro of leasing in detail for your consideration.
Financing | What are the benefits of financing a vehicle? There is a lot to love about financing. While your payments may be slightly higher than leasing, your payments will essentially go into your pocket. Your vehicle will be yours to keep or to sell, once the terms are complete. Experts agree, “Save money on auto financing by knowing your credit score and leveraging competing loan offers at the dealership. Put money down, keep the term as short as you can afford, and – of course – don’t buy more car than you can afford.” – MoneyUnder30.
Buying a New or Used Car
Don’t be fooled by the advertising of low weekly or monthly payments. $299 might seem like a great deal, but usually, these figures are bi-monthly (twice a month) and do not include taxes or additional costs associated with the vehicle’s purchase or lease. Also, a brand new car loses 20% of its value the second you drive off the lot. So, if you’re suffering from buyer’s remorse, you’ll be losing a fair sum of money right off the bat. “Yes, in just one minute, a $30,000 car will lose $6,000 as you gleefully drive off. By the end of the first year, mileage and wear and tear could bring that to 30%, or $9,000.” – NerdWallet. If you choose to buy a used car (certified pre-owned), make sure you compare selling prices thoroughly of the same make and model at several dealers. You should also know that you have some wiggle room when it comes to buying a car, so if a set of winter tires or a few extra kilometres is in your best interest, try and work it into the deal.
The Warranty Package
“Car warranties aren’t all made equally, they can be different for each vehicle. Most basic used car warranties provide coverage for the parts of your engine and transmission that need lubrication since these parts need regular service to keep your vehicle running smoothly. From there it could differ based on factors like the car’s mileage, current condition and age. You may see coverage of steering wheel parts, brakes, internal electrical, air conditioning and suspension as these parts experience wear-and-tear over the years.” – CarFax. Buyers be warned, warranties are detailed documents, and if you do not take the time to read through it all, you may find yourself at a loss when you try to make a claim.
The Price of Insurance and Registration
You will also want to calculate insurance and registration. Take advantage of CAA’s cost calculator, to get a better idea of what owning a car will cost you. Don’t forget that your age, sex, and drivers history will greatly affect your insurance cost, as will the make and model of your car.
Where you Park
Not to be overlooked is the cost and hassle of parking. Do you have a driveway or garage? Does your street allow parking at all hours or will you need to run out at 11 pm and 6 am to move your car? Will you need to get a permit? Will your company pay your parking or will it be out of pocket? Do you need to pay daily fees to park at your local transit station? Are the commercial centers and restaurants you frequent providing ample parking? These questions deserve your careful consideration.
“The strong relationship between parking prices and transit use, and between parking prices and the uptake of ridesharing has important implications for the future of urban transportation.” – Streetsblog. It also has direct implications on whether or not you opt to buy a car after all.
The Cost of Maintenance & Repairs
“A key question is whether you can afford the drip, drip of maintenance and repairs for as long as you own it.” – ConsumerReports. Even a brand-new car is no guarantee that you won’t find yourself paying out of pocket for repairs. From unexpected breakdowns to unforeseen mishaps, repairing a vehicle, even with insurance, can be more than a little expensive. Have you considered and bartered the price of your insurance and deductible if something happens? Do you have a good relationship with a trustworthy garage for regular maintenance?
Are you still feeling unsure about whether or not you should buy a car? That’s ok. It’s a big decision and not one to be taken lightly. Do your research. Consider your must-haves and your budget. Then comes the fun part! Buy an auto guide book or surf the digital version of The Car Guide’s 2020 Best Buys. Visit several dealerships and test drive the models you have narrowed down. Then get down to negotiations. Don’t jump on the first fair offer you hear. Take your time; make sure you get what you want at a price you can afford.
There are a couple of months before the deep freeze sets in, and we wish you the very best in your search for the best car. If you need a little help with your deposit or financing, reach out to 24Cash. We’re always here to help you select the ideal loan for your personal circumstances. We’ve got your back, 24/7.