We all like new, shiny cars. The smell of a new car is great. However, there is the joy of a used car. Granted, a used car does not have that new car smell nor is it shiny. The odometer does not show a few miles. In fact, it might show five or six digits on it. Let’s look at the joy of a used car:
- A used car can be bought for a whole lot less money than a new car.
- You can pay cash for it and the car payments won’t follow you home.
- The car won’t depreciate it the minute you drive it off the lot. On average, a car loses 11% of its value the moment you drive it off the lot.
- You won’t worry if your car door gets dinged when you park it somewhere.
- The cost to insure it is less.
- The cost to register it is less.
- You can drive it and continue to save money to replace it.
When you go out shopping for a used car, you need to do your homework.
- Buy a safe car.
- Don’t worry about how it looks.
- Make sure it runs well and doesn’t have any major problems. An inspection by a reliable mechanic might be well worth it.
- Shop around and don’t buy the first thing you see.
- If you buy from a dealer, you might get a warranty. However, you’ll pay more for the car.
- Negotiate the price with the seller, whether it’s a dealer or a private party.
Remember, this car is to get you from home to work and back and to get you around. It does not have to impress anyone. It just has to run. Continue to save money to replace the car in a few years. If you buy a car for a $1,000 and it lasts you for two years, you’ve spent about $42 a month for the car. If you save $50 a month during these two years, you’ll have $1,200 to spend on your next used car. If that one lasts you three years and you keep saving your $50 a month during those three years, you’ll have $1,800 for your next car. Keep driving your used car and saving for your next one.