The car with the lowest price is always the least expensive car to buy, right?
Surprisingly, this isn't the case.
Although a low sticker price may look attractive, you should always consider ownership costs too. These costs include things like gas, maintenance, and insurance. If you want more information on ownership costs of different vehicles, you can check out independent car pricing websites. If you wish to take it further, break out the calculator and calculate current gas prices in your area, as well as the miles per gallon of the prospective car, and your average mileage each week. You can also shop around for insurance. Don’t be afraid to get a quote that includes your driving history as well as the make and model of the car you’re interested in.
Another misconception about purchasing a vehicle is that if the monthly payment is low, you’re getting a great deal. This is not always the case, as many car dealerships will inflate the loan term so it decreases the monthly payment. It may seem like you’re getting a great deal, but in reality, you’re paying more for the vehicle because it’s collecting interest over a longer period of time.
Equally important, ads for 0% and low interest financing are designed to bring you to a dealership to purchase a car before considering other options. The sad truth is most people don’t qualify for these finance deals. For this reason, you should always shop around, that includes checking out what a credit union can do for you.
Lastly, make sure you’re aware of all the special deals that are available for you. Many times there are personal rebates that only some buyers qualify for – and you guessed it, they usually aren’t advertised! Some examples include special rebates for college students, recent graduates, and veterans. Why are we telling you this? Because sometimes a very high rebate can make a vehicle high with ownership costs appear to be inexpensive, when the reality is there are other rebates for vehicles that do not have as high ownership costs.
For more information about getting the most bang for your buck on a vehicle, check out Fox 59's Bottom Line segment with FORUM's very own, Andy Mattingly. Click here.