Poder viajar en automóvil puede ayudar a las personas a ganar más dinero, gastar menos y adquirir mejor valor por su vivienda. Sin embargo, los automóviles son relativamente caros de comprar y mantener.
En promedio, cada año, los hogares estadounidenses gastan más de $8,000 en compras y mantenimiento de automóviles. Las personas pueden reducir este gasto de transportación al hacer decisiones sabias al comprar.
Tome en consideración si tiene sentido utilizar las alternativas para la transportación, ya sea tránsito en masa, taxi, automóviles de alquiler o autos alquilados con opción a compra.
Al decidir si debe comprar un auto nuevo o usado, asegúrese de hacer el estimado de la diferencia en los costos totales.
Para comprar un auto usado, cerciórese del precio en el libro de precios llamado “Bluebook” para que conozca el precio de venta de un auto usado en ciertas condiciones y compare.
Compare las tasas de interés para obtener un préstamo al precio más bajo.
The larger your down payment, the lower your debt, interest rate, and interest owed. The most effective way to save a larger down payment is to automatically set aside a portion of each paycheck. With direct deposit, your employer can split your paycheck between checking and savings accounts. Or, ask your bank or credit union to regularly transfer a certain amount from your checking account to your savings account. Also, ask your financial institution about other savings products that can help you save more. If you need assistance finding money to save, check out our savings tips and strategies!
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At car dealers, the price of the cars and their optional features are almost always negotiable. In fact, most buyers do not pay the manufacturer’s suggested list price (or sticker price). Here’s how to get the best price:
- Before negotiating, learn the manufacturer’s wholesale price to the dealer, which will be somewhat less than the sticker price. This wholesale price can be found online or purchased from services such as Consumer Reports.
- Negotiate price over the phone with several dealers. Because it is easier for you to end a phone conversation than walk out of a dealership, you are likely to get a better price. If the dealer won’t talk price with you over the phone, call another dealer.
- If reluctant to negotiate, consider seeking assistance from a car buying service. One nonprofit consumer group maintains a popular service, CarBargains, in which several dealers bid for your sale.
Purchasing a used car is risky in that you often cannot be certain of the condition of the car. Here’s a purchase strategy:
- Check the Kelly Blue Book price to learn what used cars in a certain condition usually sell for. Bluebook prices can usually be found in a library reference book or online.
- Keep in mind that there are few effective used car warranties. Most cars are sold “as is,” and most of the rest carry a 50-50 warranty that obligates you to pay a portion of the repair costs.
- Try to find a mechanic who is willing to check the car before you purchase it. And see if the seller will make the sale conditional on the car passing inspection.
- Consider purchasing from family or friends who are more likely than dealers to tell you what they know about the condition of the car and not overcharge you.
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Shop for a Loan before Buying a Car
- Decide the amount to be borrowed and the number of monthly payments. Remember that, in general, the greater your down payment (and lower the amount borrowed), the lower your loan rate. Also remember that the shorter the loan term, the less interest you will pay.
- Dealer financing is not the only option. Call your bank or credit union before you head to the sales lot. Banks or credit unions may offer you lower interest rates and more favorable loan terms than the dealership finance office. Comparison shop by checking loan rates at other financial institutions and online at bankrate.com.
- If all lenders quote you a rate above the typical one, you are considered an above-average credit risk. If your credit report, and related scores, are accurate, then you should consider delaying the car purchase until you have successfully raised your credit score.
If You Still Want the Dealer to Finance Your Car, Negotiate
- The dealer may quote you a rate above the rate reflecting your credit risk (the “buy rate”). If this rate quote is above that quoted by your bank or credit union, it is probably “marked up.” Ask the dealer for your “buy rate.” If it is not provided, consider using another source to finance your car purchase.
- The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination in finance charges based on race, ethnicity, sex, or marital status. Make certain the rate you pay reflects your credit-worthiness, not one of these factors.
Finally, remember there is no 3-day right to cancel on car or car financing sales. Be sure you want the car and understand the terms before signing a contract. Do not drive the car off the lot until financing is final.
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Cars vary widely in cost. Annual household spending on automotive transportation ranges from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. The exact cost to you depends on factors such as the type of car; its age, mileage, and condition; how you finance, insure, and service it; and how many cars you own and how far you drive them.
Which Car Model
First, think about the types of models that meet your transportation needs and are affordable. Then search the internet and objective publications, such as Consumer Reports and Kelley Blue Book, for information about the features, performance, durability, and costs of the models which interest you. Finally, look over and test drive any of these models.
New or Used
In deciding whether to purchase a new or used car, make certain to estimate the difference in total costs, not just purchase price, but also depreciation, gas mileage, insurance premiums, finance charges, and likely costs of maintenance and repair. Remember, new cars almost always are more reliable and have superior warranties to used cars but lose 20 to 40 percent of their value when driven off the lot.