How to Save Money When Buying a Car, Part I

Are you looking for some simple ways to save when buying a car? Check out this article right here.

Unless you’re committed to using public transportation (which is not without its own challenges), at some point you’re going to end up buying a car…and it’s probably going to hurt. While it’s a somewhat exciting process, it’s also tedious, so there’s no harm in streamlining the process and saving some green.

In this two-part article, I’ll discuss a few ways to save money on your car purchase. It all comes down to deciding what you can live with, and then sticking to your guns.

A few introductory comments

I hope, by now, that I’ve cured you of the conspicuous consumption bug. The only person you have to impress is you, so do you really need a flashy, gas-guzzling SUV or Caddy? Probably not, unless there’s some business reason for owning one, and there may be.

That leaves you with plenty of options, though. What are your budgetary limits? Should you get a new car, or a used one? If you buy a new car, should you make do with the cheapest one you can get, or pay a premium for a car that might last longer? Hybrid, or gas-powered? Car, truck, or SUV? And the list goes on.

Assuming you’ve got a budget that allows you to buy a new car, let’s start at the top.

Bringing in the new

There are any number of reasons to buy a new car. If nothing else, you can expect it to be in tip-top condition, both structurally and mechanically. If it isn’t, you can certainly return it to the manufacturer to be repaired under warranty. New cars typically last longer, too, and of course they smell really good inside.

Some dealers even offer free car washes and oil changes with the purchase of a new car. What a bargain, eh?

New cars do tend to be ridiculously big-ticket items, though. So where does this leave you if you want a new car? Not as far in the lurch as you might expect. As of July 2010 you can get a shiny new car for as little as $10,690. That’s what Hyundai’s asking for its basic Accent Blue model.

Just goes to show that you can still get a new car and save money in the long run. For a list of the ten least expensive new cars available in America, click here.

But wait, there’s more!

Looks like that’s all the time we have for today, pardner. We’ll continue this discussion in Part II, where we’ll talk about the benefits of buying a car that’s used rather than new, and where those newfangled hybrids fit into the picture.