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Saving Money on Your First Car

Most teens don’t have a lot of money to buy their first cars. For them, saving money on this purchase counts as a big goal in the buying process. If you’re in the market for your first vehicle, here are a couple of pointers to help you keep the costs under control.

What’s Your Budget?

According to Road Loans, it’s best to start a car-buying venture with a look at your budget. If you don’t have enough money to purchase the vehicle outright, then perhaps you can work out a savings plan. You can put aside a bit of money each paycheck, and this money will be earmarked for the purchase of an automobile. If your parents plan on helping you to buy the car, then you’ll want to talk to them about your budget. Find out what they plan to contribute and what they expect you to pay for. Your budget needs to reflect this as well.

Look at the Fuel Economy

This one goes hand-in-hand with budgeting. Paying for gas, oil, and other expenses related to fuel economy can take a big bite out of your budget. According to Avis, full-size cars get better gas mileage than larger vehicles such as vans, trucks, and SUVs. Compact cars usually get even better gas mileage. As you shop around, it’s important to look for automobiles that offer good fuel economy whether you buy a compact car from a used car lot or a full-sized model from a private buyer.

Consider Pre-Owned

Here’s a fact that most new car dealerships don’t talk about all that much: Your vehicle loses a great deal of value once you drive it off the lot. That’s why a lot of wise car shoppers buy used vehicles, even if they have the budget to buy a more expensive model. This would be a good strategy for you, too, as you’ll save on depreciation. Aside from this, pre-owned cars generally cost less. Sometimes, you can find a decent enough vehicle on sites like Craigslist for $5,000 or less. If you’re planning on paying for your automobile outright, buying a used model that costs less than $5,000 means you can get access to a car a lot faster.

Buying your first car counts as an important rite of passage for most teens. However, there are many factors to consider before you sign on the dotted line, like budget, fuel economy, and whether to buy new or used. Working these issues out ahead of time not only ensures that you get the best car for the money but such a strategy helps you to develop some critical-thinking skills that will be important down the road.

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