Car buying for the single mom can be a vexing procedure, as even seasoned car enthusiasts find it to be a daunting task. However, it can all be worth it when you can get the vehicle you really want and fit it squarely within your budget range. Below you will find tips that have worked for other single moms in the past to help get them behind the wheel of a reliable and trustworthy vehicle.
14 Helpful Car Buying Tips
Since most single moms live on a budget, sitting down and figuring out how much you can really afford on a car will be most beneficial when it comes to the final sale.
You will also want to take the time to decide the type of vehicle that will fit your family’s needs most effectively. Do you have young children that fully depend on you? If so, there are vehicles made specifically with their safety in mind and with built-in technology that helps the parent to keep children occupied while the vehicle is in motion.
Do you travel a lot and need extra cargo space for luggage? Or maybe there is an athlete in the family? Either way, trunk space is a must-have and pre-planning the type of vehicle to buy will help to make sure you purchase the vehicle that best suits your family.
If you start with a pros/cons list, or a must-have/nice-to-have list, you can see the different options that are desirable to your family. Different options in colors, models, year and specifications can definitely alter prices and make the cost go up or down.
Consider going to car shows or car dealers that allow you to sit in and try different vehicles to find the one that best suits your style. While a brand new car may not be in your budget, most vehicles don’t change much year-on-year.
Doing some research on the vehicles you have in mind and maybe some that spark your interest will only be beneficial to you once it comes to the sale since it will reinforce in your mind that you have made the best choice for your family having seen everything the industry has to offer.
Searching car websites online that specialize in price comparison, reliability and safety will show you which vehicles really fit your needs. If you are on a budget, this prior research can help to avoid the purchase of a gas guzzler or a car with a manufacturer’s defect that will cost you down the road.
Word-of-mouth advertising is very useful as you will be getting first-hand testimony of what people you trust think of a vehicle. This can be very helpful for first time buyers.
Arranging financing ahead of time can be time-saving and cost-effective. The interest rates at car dealerships can be slightly on the high side, so speaking with a local bank or credit union could help to save you money in the end. Sticking to a budget may be very important for a single mom and this is a little known trick that few people are taking advantage of. You do not have to wait until you get to a dealership, pick out the vehicle you want and then see if they will finance it, possibly being let down if it does not work in your budget. Instead, you can walk into the dealership empowered, knowing you already have the approval of a lending institution and how much is in your budget to buy your vehicle.
When figuring out your budget, you will want to factor in insurance on the vehicle purchase. When purchasing a vehicle, the insurance on a brand new vehicle could be much higher than on a used vehicle due to the value of the vehicle. Some lending companies may insist on having gap insurance or full coverage, so make sure that when contacting insurance companies for price quotes you are getting a full spectrum of prices for services available.
Vehicle maintenance is very important when factoring in which type of car to buy. These are the types of expenditures that in the long run can be less painful if planned for in advance. Vehicle parts, tires, and regular maintenance can all end up costing more if not planned for when budgeting because you will have to take from another part of your budget to cover these costs if they are not properly planned.
Avoid taking your children with you when shopping for vehicles. They will distract you from your final goal. They will input their ideas and help the salesperson drive up the cost of the “chosen” vehicle. These types of distractions can hurt your car buying experience, so do it while they are in school.
Sometimes it helps to bring a friend, family member or a supportive person with you for vehicle purchases. It can help you to decide what’s right for you and your family while giving you the support to remain strong and stick to your budget.
Lastly, do not forget to negotiate. Negotiating with salespeople helps to lower your sticker price and get you the best possible deal for your budget.