Cars: Smart Financial Decisions You May be Underestimating

Driving isn’t exactly cheap. Buying a car, driving a car, getting rid of a car – none of it is friendly to your wallet. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to save as much as you can!

Here are some smart financial decisions you may not have considered.

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Consider a loan instead of using a credit card

Getting a car usually means quite a hefty investment. Even if you’re getting the thing on finance, you’re usually going to be paying quite a lot in the initial payments. Of course, most people prefer not to deal with finance at all. Unless the finance option has 0% APR, you’re looking at a bigger expense in the long run. Even if you can get 0% APR, which, admittedly, is becoming more common these days, you’re usually looking at a hefty deposit.

With this in mind, it can be very tempting to use a credit card. In some ways, this may make sense. If you’re able to pay it all off as agreed, then you’re going to get an improved credit score. But the interest rates on a credit card, most of the time, eclipse those of finance options or loans. Just using a car loan can work out much cheaper in the long run. That’s just one reason to go with a loan. There are at least 5 reasons to have a car loan ready before buying a car!

Invest in more security features

We all want our cars to be as secure as possible. When we have the car, there are several things we can install that will help keep it safe. Car security technology, after all, is getting more advanced by the day.

One of the problems that people face, however, is that the best security features come with a car. They’re not usually something you can add on later, at least not without quite extensive modifications. Some people may be tempted to look into such modification after purchasing a car, which could be a smart choice for some. But it’s better to look into security technology as you’re shopping around. In any case, you should remember that better security doesn’t protect your wallet by helping to prevent theft and damage. The better protected a car is, the cheaper it is to insure.

If it’s time to sell, do it yourself

The vast majority of us don’t keep our cars for very long once we’ve “outgrown” them. They’re not like old pairs of sneakers that we can keep around at home for emergencies. Old cars will still cost you in insurance fees if you ever want to drive them. Plus, they take up quite a bit more room than backup sneakers.

The answer is usually to sell them or trade them against something new. We tend to leave this in the hands of car dealers. But while a car dealer can make the whole process a lot quicker, they will always give you less than what the car is actually worth. (Otherwise, how would they profit from the exchange?) Consider selling the car independently in order to get yourself a figure more reflective of the car’s true value.

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