Buy Your First Car for Less with These Cheapskate Secrets

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After a house, a new car is the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy. According to recent data by Kelley Blue Book, the average price for a new car in the U.S. was $46,329 in November, a 13% increase from a year ago. Car prices for every car model have increased over the past year, making vehicle ownership more costly. If you’re looking to buy your first car, you don't necessarily have to buy a new one. Use these cheapskate secrets and save money in different ways.

  1. Research Your Options

Before walking into a dealership, you need to do your homework. Research the car models available in the market, the best cars for first-time buyers, then choose one that fits your needs. Don’t limit yourself to one model if you want to get the best deal. The internet has made it easier to research cars, and there are tons of websites that review different vehicles. 92% of car buyers research online before visiting a dealership, so do the same.

  1. Pay with Cash

When shopping for your first car, it’s advisable to look for a vehicle you can pay for with cash. Cah gets you a discount price because you take advantage of zero percent financing. And when you pay cash for a car, you can negotiate a better price, especially on a used car. Also, there’s no interest to pay if you don't finance your purchase. Take time to save and go for a less expensive model you can afford.

  1. Get Preapproved for a Loan

If you don’t have enough cash and need to get the car soon, get preapproved for a car loan before going to a dealer. Getting preapproved for a loan allows you to save money because you’re able to compare different loan offers. It also improves your negotiating power as you buy a car. After you get preapproved, visit different dealers and compare their interest rates. Choose the dealer who gives you a much better rate than your bank.

Most car owners use car loans to finance their vehicle purchases. Statistics show in the first quarter of 2021, 81.2% of new vehicles in the U.S. were financed. When applying for a car loan, ensure that you can afford to make the monthly payments.

  1. Find a Good Dealership

Once you identify a good dealership, start the purchase process. Most dealerships offer different options–you can buy a new car, a used car, or lease one. You can find a dealership near you by researching online. Most dealerships now list their entire inventory online, allowing car buyers to choose their preferred vehicles before physically visiting the dealership.

  1. Negotiate the Price Via Email

Most car buyers don't like the car-buying process due to negotiations. They spend an average of three hours at a dealership, but half of the time is spent haggling. To make the process easier, negotiate the price via email. This will also allow you to compare prices by different dealers within a shorter period. You also avoid the stress of face-to-face negotiations at each dealership.

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