5 Car Mistakes to Avoid When You’re On a Budget

Given the importance of having a car and the fact that it’s a considerably large expense, you need to ensure you’re investing in the right one. It’s not possible to get 100% satisfaction, but you can get pretty close if you try. Have a look at five car mistakes that you need to avoid when you’re on a budget to make a purchase that you won’t regret.

1. Not Setting a Budget and Writing a List

When you set out to buy a car, the biggest mistake you can make is to start your search without a budget and a good idea of what you want. There will always be many cars on the market for sale, so you will get confused in no time at all and may end up making a purchase that you soon regret. Avoid this by setting a budget to which you will stick, and accompanying it with a list of the most important features you need. These may include safety, affordable maintenance, and ample room for your needs.

2. Ignoring Used Cars

While a car is an expensive purchase as mentioned, it can be a bad investment, especially when buying a brand new one. This is because the moment you drive out of the dealership, your car will depreciate instantly. Bearing this in mind, you may be better off investing in a second-hand car that’s in good condition. While shopping for a good used car, remember to read up on the lemon laws in your state as well to know your level of protection. In California, for example, a part of the state’s lemon laws is the Tanner Consumer Protection Act. It states that a car will be presumed a lemon if, within 18,000 miles of use or in the first 18 months from when it was delivered to the buyer, it’s been out of service for over 30 days in total.

3. Forgetting to Consider Other Costs

A car will always have other costs attached to it, including insurance, add-ons, maintenance, and repair costs. Remember this when setting your budget so that you don’t buy a car that you can only afford to get to the house, but not do much else. For example, while something like adding high-performance car audio speakers is the main way you can improve the stereo sound of your car, think about how important this is to you, all else considered. Get a car whose consumption you can handle over the long term and that won’t leave a hole in your pocket if it ever needs to have parts replaced.

4. Failing to Shop Around

You should make sure to shop around from a number of dealers and shops so you make the best decision in the end. Different sellers will have different vehicle options available and they may also offer different services in addition to buying a car. They may have different financiers they work with, and this can make the purchase either easy or complicated for you.

5. Not Getting History Reports of the Car

Finally, failing to ask for vehicle history reports and maintenance reports of a car you’re interested in may leave you making a poor purchase. For instance, if you experience funny smells coming from the AC, feel like it’s louder than it should be, see water on the floor of the passenger side, or feel like the air isn’t as cool as it should be, these are all signs that the AC should be inspected. Keep an eye out for such signs and more so that you buy the car confidently knowing that it won’t start calling for fixes the second you drive it home.

Avoid making these mistakes when you buy your car, and you will most likely get an amazing one well within your budget.

Posted in: Auto

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