In the US, Presidents’ Day is a federal holiday, and is always celebrated on the third Monday in February. Previously, it was called Washington’s Birthday but it has evolved, over the years, to be called Presidents’ Day in honor of multiple presidents. This holiday, and the weekend preceding it, is known as a day for car dealers throughout the country, to have big sales on their inventory. When purchasing a new vehicle it is important for you to do your financial management homework if you want to get your best deal.
1. Get the invoice price.
In the age of the internet, finding the invoice price of the make and model of the vehicle that you want to purchase, is becoming easier and easier. Sites such as Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book can help you garner the invoice cost of your future wheels. Being armed with the invoice cost of the vehicle before you step into the door of the car dealership, will show the salesperson that you mean business. These sites will also include reviews of people who currently own the vehicle that you are looking to purchase. Reading these reviews may either reinforce your opinion or scare you away from purchasing that vehicle.
2. Know your MPG.
Part of the cost of ownership is filling up the gas tank on a regular basis. Large pickups and bigger vehicles have good deals these days but that is for a reason. They aren’t moving well. The cost to fill up the gas tank is a heavy price to pay, especially these days with the high cost of gas. Don’t just arbitrarily neglect these costs. In the long run they can be steep.
3. Know your insurance costs before you buy.
I remember a few years ago I wanted to buy one SUV over another one. I wanted to buy the one that was cheaper, and it appeared to be as well equipped as the more expensive one. So I called up my insurance company and asked what the insurance costs would be of each SUV. As it turned out, the cheaper vehicle had a less favorable safety rating. As a result, I would’ve paid much more to insure the cheaper vehicle. In fact, when I did the comparison, the more expensive vehicle was cheaper for me on a monthly basis due to the high insurance costs on the cheaper vehicle. I think a lot of people don’t even consider the insurance costs until it is too late.
4. Know the vehicle or excise tax.
In the U.S., each year there is typically a fee called a vehicle tax or an excise tax that you have to pay to the state you live in. Call your Town Hall or your registry of motor vehicles and they will be able to tell you what the cost will be to register your new vehicle. Each year you will have to pay to register your car. Granted, the cost will go down slightly, the older the car gets. But, if it is a newer vehicle, that cost will not go down by a lot until the vehicle is much older. You have to factor this into the mix when it comes to buying a new car.
5. Research the repair record of the make and model.
As I mentioned previously, the two websites, Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book, will provide you with customer reviews of the car you are looking for. They also provide access to forums where you can query existing car owners. Consumer Reports has an extensive history of reviews of the repair rates of any car that you could be interested in purchasing. Make sure you learn intimately about the repair record of the car you want to purchase.
Doing your homework in financial management and understanding the costs associated with that new car, should he high on your list before visiting that dealership. There’s a lot more to the costs than simply the price you are paying for that car. Make sure you know what they are and then, just maybe, your car-buying experience will be an exciting one. If not, you may be kicking yourself until you pay it off…
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