Everyone needs transportation of some sort. Although the need is basic, the solutions to the need may vary from person to person.
Once it is determined that you need a personal vehicle, there are a number of factors that are vital for you to consider. Generally, when someone shops for a car, they are also shopping for a car loan. So before you even go out to shop, make a list of questions for yourself. Be honest and don’t allow yourself to be distracted by the idea of a shiny paint job and a big powerful engine until you have answered questions such as:
What is your income each month? What are your housing costs? What are your other living expenses? Do you have some form of reliable transportation now? Why do you want a new vehicle? Do you need one? Based upon your budget answers, how much can you easily afford to pay monthly for a vehicle? Do you have a down payment saved up? How about a trade-in? Is your identity wrapped up in having a certain type of car or truck? If so, why?
Each of the answers to these questions will help you determine how much you can afford to spend on a car, if you need a loan, and if so, how much you need to take a loan out for. Once you’ve figured out your financial situation, it’s time to shop.
Bear in mind, when you go out to shop for the dream vehicle, car dealers are often fast talkers who are generally very good at telling you what you want to hear, so it’s important to go in with a clear head. There are a number of factors to keep in mind when you go out shopping for that new or pre-owned car, including:
– If you need to finance it, determine what the interest rate will be. Make sure it is not variable, and inquire about penalties for late or missed payments.
– If the lender makes special accommodations for deployed military personnel in war zones, and note any guarantees against repossession, should you be unable to send payments for an undetermined period of time.
– Always get all of their promises and assurances in writing, signed and notarized. They will have a notary public on their staff.
– Only sign if you are comfortable with all of their answers, the rates, the size of the monthly payments, and the condition of the vehicle itself.
Generally, lenders and dealers will act high and mighty, as though they are doing you a favor by making unreasonable accommodations just for you — They are not. Remember this: You are the one in power. All you have to do is get up and walk away, and they cannot stop you. There are many ways to obtain transportation, so don’t feel pressured to grab the first deal offered to you.