From scouring Craigslist to hunting around the neighborhood, we all have methods for getting a vehicle on the cheap. Cars can cost so much and with budgets more strapped than they ever have been, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of what adds to the price of a car so that you can work to keep the cost down. We certainly can’t avoid paying for a car but you can avoid paying for the little extras below.
Bells and Whistles
If you are looking at a car with power windows, a sun roof, nice rims, or a spoiler, pay attention to how that affects your bottom line. You will feel each of these little upgrades in the cost of your car. By the time a car is decked out, it might cost you 30-40% more than the base price you originally see.
Space doesn’t come for free. The longer a car has been sitting on a lot, the more it has cost the dealership. You can try to work with smaller dealerships or ones that appear to have efficient overhead. Or you can head to the internet. Auto auction software like openlane and online auto auctions make it easier than ever to purchase a car from the comfort of your own home! Theorhetically, a car sold at auction doesn’t really ever have to be stored. This cuts way down on the cost you absorb. You can participate in web auctions as well as auctions that are physically happening in your area. Services like Simulcast let you bid anonymously against people who are bidding around you. That way, you can participate in as many auctions at one time as you would like. By diversifying the auto auction software you use, you can add to your chances of winning. Just be sure not to spread yourself too thin and over bid.
Your Credit or Your Loan
Maybe the cost they have offered you isn’t so bad but once you figure out the payments, they are way more than you afford. There are a few ways to avoid this. Get financing from your bank before you head to the dealership. Dealerships know that customers who come in without previous financing are ripe for a poor interest rate. Consider it a convenience tax that you pay for not thinking again. A smart buyer will skip that. Note that you can also get upfront financing for dealer auto auctions as well.