Since getting a car, whether new or used, is a major purchase, it makes sense to anticipate the financial outlay well in advance by setting funds aside. If you have a plan of attack, you can either put away enough money for a down payment on a vehicle, or even amass enough cash to purchase a car outright with no financing. I was so determined to pay cash for my next set of wheels that when I purchased my current car in April of 2017 after the 24-month lease ended, I began saving up for the next car by earmarking contributions in a specially designated car fund. I now have enough set aside to purchase a moderately priced new or gently used vehicle when the time comes. Granted, I was extremely aggressive and determined when I began saving up, but I now know that it is indeed possible to self-finance a car purchase.
Even if you can’t save up enough money for a cash purchase, a chunk of change could nicely cover a down payment, thus lowering the total amount which ends up being financed. I ended up intuitively setting up a high yield savings account and have been making monthly investments for the past five years, a technique which is actually recommended by financial experts. The other thing I kept in mind when figuring out how much to set aside each month was the value of the vehicle which I would most likely purchase in the future. When I got any additional small windfalls, I would add those monies to the fund. Lastly, another thing which I made sure to do was to set up a car repairs fund in high yield savings so that I would be prepared if I ran into any unexpected repair bills on my current ride.
For more detailed information on whether to buy new or used, or to buy versus lease (though I NEVER advise anyone to lease a vehicle), you can check out this article:
The pandemic has created many shortages and supply chain issues, among them toilet paper, disinfecting supplies, and workout equipment. But did you know that there is also a shortage of used automobiles? Two major factors which have caused so many people to turn towards used cars are decreased new automobile production, and budget concerns which have resulted from decreases in income. If you have an extra used car sitting around that’s not being used, it may be a small gold mine for you if you sell it right now, because the demand is so high. But if your used vehicle is one you actually need in order to get around, and it’s in good mechanical shape, you’re better off holding onto it until the surge in demand simmers down.
Even my car, which is a 6 year old economy car, is now worth about $1,400 more this year than it was at the beginning of 2020. Strange, but it’s true. Prior to the pandemic, I had actually considered selling my car and getting a newer model, but I am definitely pushing my plans back by about 3 years or more. I truly hope that when I am ready to get a different car, the supply chain issues with new automobile production will not be an issue like they are right now.
If you are in the market to buy a used car, you already know how difficult it is to actually locate one. It took one of my dear friends four months before she was able to find a used car to purchase. She looked everywhere, and kept responding to listings which turned out to be sleazy dealers instead of the private parties they claimed to be. The vehicles were not in good mechanical condition, so they never passed mechanical inspection. The only reason why she was finally able to find a decent car to buy was because a friend of hers whose mother was going to buy one from a family member changed her mind, and offered to sell the car to my friend. Had that not occurred, my friend would likely still be on the hunt for a set of wheels.
If you can purchase a new car instead of struggling to find a used one, be prepared to pay about 5% more than before March of 2020.
Many teenagers cannot wait until they learn to drive, because it is a rite of passage and a means to a certain amount of freedom and movement which they never had before. I remember being excited to drive, but that feeling dissipated very quickly when I found out how tedious it could be to navigate through Los Angeles traffic. I guess it’s a small price to pay for the flexibility I get from having a reliable car and all the necessary faculties to drive it. I have become so dependent on being able to drive wherever I need to that taking the car in for servicing is a major test of patience. It seems ridiculous that I can’t sit still for one hour while my car is serviced, but I simply can’t stand it. I also do not enjoy riding with other people to events which I may want to make an escape from earlier than my friends do. Even when I travel, I prefer to drive to the destination in my own car or rent a car while there.
I have seen elderly loved ones lose the ability to drive over the past few years, and it breaks my heart. My favorite aunt, my mother and now my father have lost the ability to drive as a result of progressive weakness, arthritis, loss of vision and cognitive decline. Both of my parents initially exhibited a stubborn refusal to accept their diminishing ability to drive, and kept talking about how they were going to resume driving soon. Sadly, they are both ambulating with great difficulty and only with the use of assistive devices. It is especially difficult to see this when I used to rely on them to drive me around when I was a child.
Even getting my parents into a vehicle is a major task, because flexing both at the knees and hips is no longer rapid or automatic. It terrifies me to think that I might ever get to that point in my later years. I don’t ever want to lose the freedom to jump in a car and go whenever I need to. I would hate having to rely on others to cart me around all the time. I hope and pray that my body remains nimble and that my distance vision remains sharp (thanks to Lasik). Driving is definitely a privilege and one which I value greatly.