Without question, buying a car is one of the most exciting purchases you’ll make in your lifetime. Before you start considering your favorite models, features, and exterior colors – it’s essential to develop a game plan for determining exactly how much car you can afford. Fortunately, our team at Schumacher Used is standing by to help you make an informed buying decision. We’ll cover some of the best ways you can determine how much car you can afford by carefully considering your driving habits, financial situation, and personal preferences. Armed with the right information, you’ll be able to shop like a pro and get behind the wheel of a vehicle that both your head and heart can agree on.
Used Car Affordability – Factors to Consider
There’s much more to consider than just the sticker price of the vehicle when shopping for your next used car. In fact, there is a wide range of factors involved when taking a big-picture look at the vehicle’s total cost of ownership.
Monthly Payment Amount
One of the most common concerns of a potential car buyer relates to their anticipated monthly car payment amount. In general, a lower car payment is generally considered to be a better financial decision – especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget. Many industry experts recommend that your monthly car payment amount should not exceed 15% of your monthly take-home pay. Choosing a vehicle with a lower monthly payment can prove to be a rewarding decision for years to come.
Another important factor to consider when shopping for your next vehicle is car insurance. As you’re likely aware, your car insurance rates can vary based on your location, driving record, age, and other factors. The specific make and model of the vehicle plays a significant role in determining the insurance cost as well. For example, you can usually expect larger SUVs or high-performance sports cars to have higher insurance costs. Before making your final purchasing decision, be sure to give your insurance provider a call to get an insurance quote and avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Nobody likes spending more time and money than they have to at the gas station! Especially if you have a long commute to work or you enjoy taking long road trips, choosing a vehicle that gets great MPG is a smart choice. You could also consider making the switch to a hybrid or all-electric model to save even more money on fuel costs.
Know Your Trade-In Value
Trading in your existing ride on your next used car has plenty of benefits that you might not be aware of. First and foremost, you can’t beat the convenience of simply handing over your keys and letting our team handle the rest of the trade-in process. No need to worry about dealing with strangers or frustrating negotiations. Even better, our team pays top dollar for quality used vehicles just like yours! Combined with potential tax savings, trading in your vehicle is a wise decision. Visit the links below to learn more about the benefits of trade-ins.
Special Discounts, Offers, and Incentives
Another great method to get a great deal on your next used vehicle purchase is to keep an eye out for special incentives, offers, or discounts. Whether they’re provided by the dealership or the manufacturer, there are usually a variety of money-saving options available to maximize your savings. From monthly cash offers to special financing options on certified pre-owned models, these incentives can help you stick to your budget and get a great vehicle at the same time.
- Exclusive Financing Rates for CPO Vehicles
- Monthly Bonus Cash
- Special Used Vehicle Discounts
Consider Your Driving Habits/Preferences
Our next suggestion before making your purchasing decision is to take a moment to consider your personal preferences and driving habits. After all, what’s good for one individual driver may not be the best option for another. You’ll find some helpful examples listed below for you to consider.
• Do you find yourself bored with your vehicle after a couple years and look forward to your next car?
Consider shopping for vehicles in the price tier below what you had originally wanted. Depreciation can be a significant downside to changing vehicles often and shopping lower-priced vehicles can lessen its impact.
• Do you enjoy long-term peace of mind and plan to own your vehicle for many years to come?
We recommend that you take a moment to browse our extensive selection of Certified Pre-Owned vehicles. Held to a higher standard than a typical used vehicle, CPO models are required to undergo a meticulous inspection, come backed with factory warranty coverage, and include a variety of other perks like roadside assistance. It’s the best of both worlds!
What to Do After Buying a Used Car
Now that you’ve driven home in your next vehicle, there are a few things you can begin to prepare for in order to have an enjoyable and rewarding ownership experience.
Regularly Service and Maintain Your Vehicle
Taking the time to have your vehicle regularly serviced and maintained by factory-trained technicians like those you’ll find at Schumacher Used can help you enjoy years of reliable performance. Better still, your vehicle will have a higher resale value when the time comes to sell or trade it in on your next ride.Schedule Service
Practice Safe Driving Habits
Your driving record is directly related to your insurance rates. Practicing safe driving habits like avoiding speeding, wearing your seatbelt, and using your turn signal can help you avoid accidents and stay safe on the roads.
Understand Your Loan Agreement & Terms
If you’ve financed your vehicle, be sure to thoroughly review your loan agreement and the associated terms. Understanding the term length, interest rate, and your payment obligations helps you prepare for the future and avoid any unpleasant surprises.