In the United States, buying a car is a rite of passage. In a country where a whopping 276 million vehicles are registered, car ownership, for most people, is a matter of when, not if.
Car ownership is especially common among millennials – the nation’s largest generational group. As such, if you’re a millennial, it’s understandable that owning and driving a car is one of your top priorities.
But when should you acquire a car? Cars are high-ticket items and cost money to run and maintain. It’s prudent to know when to buy a car; otherwise, you could end up making costly miscalculations.
Read on for important considerations to make before heading to the showroom.
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When Your Personal Finances Support Car Ownership
New and used car prices have been on the rise since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Jan 2022, the average price of a new car was $47,000.
Quite some change, right?
If you’re going to buy a car, your financial ducks need to be in a straight row, no doubt. Unfortunately, some people purchase a car even when their finances don’t allow it.
Affording a car is not a matter of being able to pay for the full price in cash or getting an auto loan approved. You have to consider other costs, including insurance, electricity and/or gas, maintenance, and repairs.
A good rule of thumb is to stick to the 50:30:20 formula. 50% of your income goes to your needs, 30% wants, and 20% savings and debts.
When You Have a Decent Amount of Motoring Experience
Although anyone is free to buy a car, car ownership does require some experience. If you buy a car when you don’t have some experience with cars, you might buy the wrong car and even misuse it.
The best time to buy a car is when you’re already a licensed driver. You don’t want another person to drive your own car out of the dealer’s yard!
If there’s an old car rusting away in your parent’s yard, fix it up and get some motoring experience with it. And once you’re done with it, you can go online and search “how to sell my junk car” to help your folks get rid of it.
When You’re More Likely to Snap Up a Good Deal
Who doesn’t love a discount?
Although car prices are soaring, you can still find a killer deal on a car you want. You just need to know where, how, and when to find these deals.
The end of the year is the absolute best time to get a good deal on a car. Dealerships are trying to clear the stock or meet sales targets. To do this, they incentivize buyers with good discounts.
Also, look out for deals on holidays like July Fourth, Memorial Day, and Labor Day.
Know When to Buy a Car
Cars bring unparalleled convenience to our lives, but they also come at a big cost. Knowing when to buy a car is key to not only getting the best deal but also making the most of car ownership.
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