How to Buy an Affordable College Car

So, you’re shopping for that college dream car. You may not have a great deal of money to work with, but just because you’re on a budget and can’t afford the most luxurious model doesn’t mean you have to end up with a junker. Here is some advice to help you get a car you can be proud of but not go broke over:

How to Buy an Affordable College Car

Be smart

You’re going to have to look around for the best price, and that requires a bit of patience. Maybe you’ve walked into the dealership, seen your dream car, and reveled in its glory right in front of the dealer. You’ve already made a huge mistake. If you find yourself in this position, keep your cool and come back another day after you have researched a more practical car.

Choose the right time to buy

When you do go back, go back in the fall after the school year has begun. This time of the year is typically when dealerships are looking to clear out their old inventory, and if you catch them at the right time, they will be more likely to cut you a deal to make room on the lot. Other experienced dealers also recommend December as the best time to buy because of a push to reach end-of-the-year sales goals.

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Be respectful to the salesperson

Respect the salesperson you’re dealing with and they will treat you just as well. Being courteous and professional can lead to better deals.

Come prepared to bargain shop

Look for zero percent financing, incentives, and other features that could ultimately sweeten the deal for you. Also, be sure to look up Kelley Blue Book prices so you know what to expect. Research various prices at different dealerships. If you present this valuable research to a dealer, it could reduce the work you have to do to achieve the best price.

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Buy a car online

Perhaps you’re pretty tired of going to that car dealership and spending all day walking around, comparing deals, and trying to find the best vehicle in your price range. Help yourself by getting a price quote on the vehicle you want ahead of time, and quickly finding comparisons by shopping online.

If you don’t live close to any dealerships, shopping online is a great option. If you’re looking to spend a specific dollar amount, you may have to change what you’re looking for in order to get a competitive rate. No matter how you use this online method, you’ll eventually have to meet the car dealer due to laws against purchasing a vehicle over the Internet.

Always try to maintain control of the situation when buying a vehicle, and only buy if you feel comfortable doing so. Whatever method you choose, or steps you take to get there, it isn’t hard to stay under budget so long as your expectations remain realistic.

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