When it comes time to replace your beloved family car, you have plenty of options available to you. Unfortunately, not all of them are very cost-effective for you and your family. If you're trying to save money on your next family vehicle purchase, here are a few tips to help you out.
One of the easiest ways to save money on your next family vehicle is to buy a used model. Most used vehicles have an average of three previous owners, but you can often find vehicles that have only had one previous owner. In addition, the vast majority of used cars still function just like a new model. They may have a few more miles on them than a brand new car, but when you need a family vehicle you're aiming for practicality and safety, not necessarily flair. It also helps if you opt for an older vehicle. Used vehicles can still be some of the newest models on the lot at the car dealership you're visiting. So if you're really looking to save some cash, make a point to look at models that are already a few years old. Odds are they're going to have a more attractive price tag with only a few more miles on them. Again, you're not looking for a car with all the bells and whistles when you want to buy a good family vehicle. Something without the latest Bluetooth technology is going to serve you just as well as any car with advanced entertainment features.
Do Some Preliminary Research
While you won't be able to magically find a car's 13-digit VIN number to do more research on it, it's still possible to do some preliminary research before you go to a physical car dealership to look at vehicles. One of the best things you can do research on to save money on your purchase is less popular vehicle models. While popular vehicle models attain their status for a reason, that reason typically ends up being appearance. Additional bells and whistles also often play a part. But since you don't need any of that, you can look for vehicles that might not be as popular on the market. Not only will you find a better deal, but you might just find a car in your price range that hasn't had any previous owners before. When you weigh a better deal against a prettier car, the cost-effective option should always win out in the end.
Ask About Vehicle History
When you're on the lot looking at used cars for sale, make a concerted effort to ask about each vehicle's history. Learning about what kinds of repairs were made before the vehicle you're looking at was put on the lot for sale can tell you a lot about what kind of experience you might have as its future owner. And considering that almost 77% of cars are in need of maintenance or repairs, it's better to know exactly what you're getting yourself into before driving off the lot with a fixer-upper you don't have the time or money to fix. In most cases, you'll find that only minor repairs or maintenance were necessary before a used car was put on the lot. The four main causes of auto body damage are weather, negligence, fender benders, and collisions, after all. But if you notice any strange stains, smells, or dents on/in the vehicle you're looking at, make sure you ask a few more pointed questions about them before you commit to a purchase. Doing so could help you save money on future repairs that you otherwise might not have needed to make.
Buying a new family vehicle can feel like a chore. But when you're smart about how you spend your time and money at a car dealership, you just might find that you've made an excellent investment in your family's future.