There are a million different reasons that you could need a car, or even just want one for convenience. Getting back and forth to work, or school, or to pick up kids are some common needs, and common wants would be just so that you have the option to pick up and drive to friend’s houses or even just relax on the road and listen to some music.
But getting yourself into a car takes money, and sometimes a little bit of extra planning too, if you don’t want to end up either in debt or in a financial situations that you can’t wiggle out of. Consider things like financing, making a budget, looking at distances, size considerations, and a backup plan when making decisions about purchasing your own car (new or used).
For the most part, people aren’t going to be able to afford cars straight up with cash. And that means that they have to use some sort of financing. If you have good credit, there are certain options available, whereas if you have a credit history that still rebounding from previous issues, you may have to work around that with various 3rd party financing options. Just be sure that you understand the fine print as far as things like interest rates go.
Creating a car budget isn’t as easy as it sounds. But if you want to purchase your own car and be able to keep it working (maintenance) and keep it running (gasoline) and keep in legal (insurance costs), there are those extra financial factors to keep in mind, both in the short term and the long term. If you conveniently forget about those costs past just the purchase price, you’ll quickly fall into debt or your car into non-working order.
Also, as soon as you think about buying a car, it’s important to consider how far you’ll be driving it, and through what conditions. It may be great in your mind to want to buy a sports car, but if you’re planning on traveling hundreds of miles over snowy highways and up and down mountains, that’s probably not going to be your best decision.
Thoughts On Size of Vehicle
The size of the vehicle you want to buy is going to make a difference as well. Think it would be cool to buy a heavy vehicle with an 8-cylinder engine? Might want to check out gas mileage statistics first. If you can afford the gas, your car-buying adventure is going to end with you kicking rocks and wishing you’d thought ahead.
Including a Backup Plan
Part of buying a car is that you have to be sure that if the car breaks, you still can do things like work or go to school. So, as far as practical steps go, make sure that you still have a way to get around even in the event of failure. Getting rides, taking buses, walking or biking – those have to be part of your car plan as well!