Tips To Help You Afford Your Dream Car

Buying a car isn't exactly cheap, but it doesn't have to be insanely expensive, also. There are a few tips you can use to shave serious money off a car's purchase price. Below are some of these tips.

Buy Used

Brand new cars begin to lose their values from the minute they are driven off the dealership. The depreciation increases with time and mileage and is particularly steep during the first few years of the car's ownership. Some cars lose about a third of their value after only two years of use. Thus, you can get a new-ish car at an incredible price if you do your research properly.

Get the Right Financing

If you are buying the car on loan, as most people do, then the cost of the car loan will also determine your overall cost of the car. Look for an affordable loan to drive the costs down. Here are a few tips to help you get an affordable loan:

  • Don't go for an unnecessarily long loan term
  • Negotiate the interest rates
  • Make a substantial down payment
  • Get someone with good credit to co-sign the loan

Note that you don't have to get the loan from the dealership selling you the car. Shop for the financing separately and deal with the best (cheapest) financier.


Another tip is to sharpen your negotiating skills so that you can get the car at the lowest possible price. Here are a few tips to help you with the negotiation:

  • Research the value of the car beforehand
  • Determine how high you cannot go beforehand
  • Negotiate everything, including the accessories you want, and not just the base price of the car
  • Compare process across different dealers
  • Separate the trade-in negotiations from the purchase negotiations if you want to trade in your current ride

If you don't trust your negotiation skills, take someone (a friend or relative) along to help you.

Avoid Unnecessary Add-ons

When you visit an auto dealership to purchase a car, expect the salesperson to offer you all kinds of extras or add-ons. Salespersons (and by extension, dealerships), make money this way so this is not a surprise. However, you can end up buying things you don't need if you are not careful. Don't get your car tinted if you have no need for tinted windows and you didn't plan on getting one before going to the dealership. In some cases, even the extras you want might be cheaper elsewhere.