5 Ways to Save Money on Your Car Purchase

Car purchase is a big financial decision. Not only do you want to buy a car that you love, but you also want to know that you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

If you’re in the market for a new car, here are five tips and tricks to save money on your car purchase.

1. Research the Car

Before you ever step foot on a dealership lot, make sure you know the market value of the car you want to buy. Knowing what the car is worth at a dealership or from a private party sale is important.

This way you can ensure you aren’t overpaying or getting a bad deal.

The easiest way to research a car’s value is to look at the Kelly Blue Book price. You may also want to review the car’s Consumer Report, as well.

2. Compare Prices

Before you make any kind of large purchase, such as buying a car, it’s important to shop around. If you know the make, model, or type of vehicle that you want to buy, look at what dealerships in your area are offering.

You can price shop by using websites like TrueCar or Edmunds. These sites allow you to create filtered searches based on the type of vehicles you want to buy.

While you may assume that prices are the same from dealership to dealership, this isn’t always the case. Some dealerships run specials and slash prices by hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars.

3. Buy Used vs. New

You’ve probably heard it before, but cars are depreciating assets. The second you drive a car off the lot, it’s already worth 10% less. While nothing beats that new car smell, is a brand new car worth the extra thousands of dollars?

If you’re looking to save money, the answer is no.

Buying used is one of the best ways to save money on your car purchase. Used cars have already depreciated, and therefore you won’t be underwater the second you drive off.

When buying a used car, be mindful of:

  • Year versus mileage
  • Vehicle maintenance records
  • Whether the car was in an accident
  • Recall notices

Before buying a used car, always ask for the CarFax so that you can review the vehicle history report.

4. Trade-In Your Old Car

If you have an old car that is paid off, now is the perfect time to trade it in. Most dealers offer decent trade-in values, and the money you make off your old car can be put towards the purchase of the new one.

But before trading-in at the dealership, shop around. Sometimes places like CarMax will give you a slightly higher selling value versus a dealership.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate

To save money, you must be willing to negotiate. If you notice any minor flaws on the car you’re interested in buying, point them out to the dealer or seller. Paying in full or in installments, you might get some discount. This is an easy way to knock a several hundred dollars off the selling price.

At the end of the day, if the price isn’t right, walk away from the deal. Never buy a car that is priced over its market value.

Be a Smart Buyer

Buying a car isn’t a decision to make on a whim – whether you buy or lease a car. By carefully researching your options and being informed, you can have peace of mind that you’re getting a great deal. Keep these tips and tricks in mind to save money on your car purchase.


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