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Buying A Car That Fits Your Budget

fit your car to your budgetBuying a car is an exciting time. Choosing the type of vehicle, the features you want, new or used, finance or pay in cash, are all choices that will affect the dollar amount you will be spending. Other things that can affect the price are the time of year, and your credit rating. Here are some tips to consider to help you stay within your budget, save money and avoid credit problems.

The Best Time to Buy A Car

When going to the car dealership, you know you’ll have to do some haggling. But is there a time when salesmen might be more willing to budge?

August. Now is the time people! If you’re financially ready and have planned for this in your budget, this is a great month to buy. Next year’s car models usually start popping up in September so dealers are trying to move cars off the lot, meaning bigger deals for you.

The end of the month. Like every salesman, they need to fill a quota and that quota comes at the end of the month. So if that month hasn’t been particularly successful, they may be a bit more flexible so that they hit their goal.

Holidays. Typically, major holidays offer great deals to buy a car. President’s Day for example, is a time where dealers will run promotional events to get consumers in the door.

3 Additional Tricks of the Trade

1. Flexibility. Or at least lead your dealer to believe that you can be flexible. Have numbers predetermined before you go so that you can work up to it. Those number should include:

  • The trade in value of your car.
  • What kind of cash can you realistically put down?
  • How many years are you looking to finance?
  • What can you afford for a monthly payment?

2. Time your visit carefully. If you head in later in the day, your dealer may be more likely to close quicker to get home. Rainy days bring in few customers, meaning better bargains.

3. Don’t low ball. Balancing low-end offers takes preparation and patience. If you’re hoping to get a few thousand dollars knocked off the retail price, it’s best to start on the low end of the middle and go from there. For example, if a car is priced at $15,000, an offer around $13,500 could be more seriously considered over a $12,000 offer.

Want to know how much car you can afford? Check our handy calculator to help you determine what will fit into your budget without getting into credit card debt.

To speak to a credit counselor today about budgeting and managing your finances, call 800-769-3571.

ABOUT AUTHOR / Madison

Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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