What kind of car should I buy when I'm in debt...
(student loans, credit card, large mortgage, etc.)?
In tough economic times, people transitioning from their current or first car often wonder, “What kind of car should I buy to be the most wise about my financial situation?”
The fact is, new cars are fun and we often convince ourselves to see them as necessary, but for most people hit by the economy, it is best to go with an older, yet reliable model when considering what kind of car should I buy.
You already know the answer to this – buy used!
Yes, Americans put a lot of weight on new cars, but when you are asking yourself what kind of car should I buy while putting away a third of your income to massive debt, you need to be realistic.
Cars are known for losing up to half their value as you drive them off of the purchase lot. Unless you have full financial security or are a car aficionado with money saved up for the explicit purpose of buying a car, when you ask yourself, “What kind of car should I buy?” the answer needs to be anything other than new.
What kind of car should I buy if I want reliability?
Many people buying cars make the mistake of playing into the common misconception that new means reliable and driven once means horribly unreliable.
The fact is that plenty of brands of cars have great used prices and are safe enough to drive your children around in. Consider the Nissan Frontier, for example. This is a lightweight pickup truck known for nearly outlasting its owners in durability!
Nissans are very simple cars and are easy to take care of, and they hardly ever break down. Further, a used Nissan Frontier in good condition can cost you less than $5,000.
What kind of car should I buy if I want a sporty car?
Some folks mistakenly believe that you have to shell out $60,000 for a sports car if you want anything fun.
This is not so.
Volkswagens are a brand known for their reliability and speed. A great sporty car on a budget is a used Volkswagen Eos. This is a convertible Volkswagen that will get you the speed you are looking for, but will only run you about $10,000.
When you ask yourself what kind of car should I buy, in the long run, $10,000 is a much better price for a reliable used sporty, fast car than paying full price for one that will probably increase your car insurance in the end.
Be realistic about what you can afford when you consider what kind of car should I buy.
And follow good advice, such as what is presented in the Dummy's Guide to Buying a Car
Wait, do you mean that I have to buy some old clunker? But I do not know anything about car care!
Do not take it as an insult when I tell you to purchase a used car. I certainly do not intend for you to take the advice of what kind of car should I buy and purchase something you know will only run for another 200 miles. In my above situations, we saw two examples of where we did not have to compromise car sturdiness for a good price.
The fact is, when you consider what kind of car should I buy, you do not have to purchase the bottom line. There is a middle ground.
Sometimes, the old clunker really does have its use, and it gets you from A to B. But another important fact to consider when asking, “What kind of car should I buy?” is that everyone needs to make themselves somewhat versed in car care. This not only helps you be a responsible car owner, but it helps you keep costs down by being prepared to handle brands with certain issues.
There are many YouTube videos and cheap manuals available online to teach you how to do basic car maintenance such as changing the oil and break pads, replacing the windshield wipers, diagnosing basic issues resulting in a check engine light, and more.
If you know how to put gas in your car, you can conceivably learn these tricks. It will save you a lot of time and money on car maintenance to do so.
When considering what kind of car should I buy, it is best to keep it simple.
Do not purchase out of your price range. Moreover, remember that you do not have to compromise important factors like safety, speed and reliability when buying used – you just have to know where to look.