I hate car shopping. It is complicated and has more impact on the budget than most people consider. Not only do you have to think about what you are paying for the car, how much it is worth, and what your payments will be but you also have to think about how much your insurance will cost. Other things to consider is how old the car is, how many miles it has on it, and how soon will you have to replace it?
For me, I have to look at how it fits. I’m a large woman with a handicap so I have to fit comfortably and be able to drive without it hurting my bad ankle, knees and so on. Also I now have a folding scooter that needs to fit in the vehicle. The scooter allows me to go places I can’t without it. Many stores provide scooters but they aren’t always charged properly or are available.
We’ve been shopping. We have a budget according to what our lender is willing to loan us and what is within our price range for keeping the monthly payments manageable. I’ve looked at a lot of vehicles. I’ve done research online for vehicles and vehicle values.
You know what is truly astounding to me? That salesmen and dealers are more conscious of the tools available to buyers. Maybe I’m just really anal about this stuff but I don’t want to pay more for a vehicle than Kelly Blue Book or NADA (this is what a lot of financial institutions use to look up car value) says a vehicle is worth. Also with the research tools available online dealers have to know they aren’t just competing with the dealer down the road but with those 50 – 100 miles away.
Yet I’m looking at cars and seeing prices that are 3-5K higher than the value of the vehicle. To me this is a rip off and I question whether they are reputable. I spoke with our lender and he said by buying a vehicle that overpriced you are instantly underwater on the vehicle. This means you have an asset that you owe more than it is worth on. That is not a good financial decision.
I am struggling with whether to buy a vehicle we can just pay for which will in reality only last us a year or two which will have little impact on our monthly budget. The other option is to buy a vehicle which will hopefully last us three to six years but will impact our monthly budget significantly. My third option is to just wait to buy a car until later in the year. My car does have 193,000 miles on it though.
Stay tuned to see what we end up doing