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5 ways to save money when buying a car

5 ways to save money when buying a car Illustrative photo (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

Buying a car is an intriguing yet highly complex endeavor. The market offers an enormous variety of vehicles with different specifications, colors, and other features. And of course, every buyer strives to find something that suits them while saving as much money, according to the Real Simple website.

Evaluate alternatives

If saving costs is crucial for you, you should be realistic about what you can afford. This may mean purchasing a smaller-sized car than initially planned.

If you're looking for true value, don't peg the price of your car to how much you make—or to the kind of vehicle you like. Instead, add up all those taxi receipts, subway tickets, and rental car invoices over the past year. That's the number to beat.

Bank loan - yes or no?

Taking out a car loan is a quick fix with potential long-term pain. Before signing any credit agreements, carefully study the bank's policies.

The longer the loan term, the more you'll end up paying. Don't be swayed by small monthly payments; calculate the total amount by the contract end date, and you'll quickly understand.

In addition to the bank loan, the future car owner will also have to bear additional expenses for maintaining the purchased vehicle.

Price matters

A very low price should always raise red flags for a potential buyer. In such cases, the seller isn't hiding the fact that the vehicle is either very old or requires significant repairs.

Often, a "minor" repair turns out to be a need for extensive intervention in the body and mechanics of the car.

Don't ignore expert advice

Often, sellers try to hide or omit certain defects in the vehicle to make a little profit without lowering the price.

Involving a professional will immediately reveal all obvious defects in the vehicle. This includes determining the actual mileage of the car (which is often tampered with for sale), the condition of the body, suspension, and engine.

Test drive

Sometimes, emotional car buyers may overlook this crucial step.

If the car is being purchased for a specific individual, they should personally feel what they'll be driving in the future. It's better to check the car for even minimal discomfort while behind the wheel of the vehicle before making the purchase.