Buying a Vehicle

Things to Consider When Buying a Vehicle-Part 2

Continuing the things you should consider when buying a vehicle.  This is even more things few people think about before they buy a vehicle.

Do You Need It

Do you really need a new vehicle.  If your vehicle is a couple years old in perfect working condition, do you need a new one?  The chances are you don’t need a new vehicle you just want one.  However if you’re like many people asking the same question I have a few rules of thumb.

If your vehicle has over 200,000 miles you most likely need a new one.  I’m not saying cars can’t last over 200K.  At that mileage if you aren’t already spending to much on repairs you will be.

When your monthly repair bills average more than a car payment, it’s time for a new vehicle.  Vehicles can get expensive to fix and it seems that once one thing breaks more follow.  This is why you need to average your repair bills over 4 or 5 months.

The most important thing in my book is when one single repair bill is over 75% of your vehicles value.  If you have a vehicle valued at $3000 putting a $2500 transmission in it really doesn’t make financial sense.  In fact most times replacing an engine or transmission doesn’t make financial sense.  Of course there are exceptions.

If your still owe $5000 on your $3000 dollar car it.   When you still owe money on your vehicle you need to look at how much you owe not what it’s worth.

Who Had it Before You

It is always good to know who owned the car before you.  I’d rather buy a car with 200000 miles that was owned by a traveling salesman than one with 50000 owned by a little old lady.  Vehicles were meant to be driven not sit around.  A broke college student may not maintain a car like a business man who just says fix it.  Knowing how well a car was maintained and how hard it was driven prior to you purchasing it is a very good thing.  This is also something many people over look.  With Carfax many people are given a false sense of security now days.  Remember Carfax only shows when a car was serviced at a place that registered the vehicles VIN number.  As good as this can be it’s only goes so far in telling you how the vehicle was treated by past owners.

Has it Been Modified

It’s best to buy a vehicle that hasn’t been modified.  I know it seems great when you find a truck already lifted with big tires and oversized tires.  The problem is you don’t know who installed the lift kit.  You won’t know where to get replacement parts when things break.  The same can be said with any aftermarket electronics.  Having remote start is great in the winter.  When you know nothing about who installed the remote start or who made it.  It will cost you a lot of money to find someone who can fix it.  You may even end up paying someone to uninstall it.   Now days even an aftermarket radio can cause problems with you car.  Of course this assuming that the person who installed the radio did it correctly.  Before you buy a vehicle that has been modified think twice what happens if it breaks.

How Long Will You Keep it

When you buy a vehicle it’s always good to know how long you’ll keep it.  If you plan on selling off your car ever few years thinking about a lease may make financial sense.   The vehicle you only need a car to get you through college, can be a $2000 beater.  When planning to keep a vehicle till it dies, you need to be very particular about the vehicle you buy.  You’ll want to go over everything I’ve said with a fine tooth comb and then some.  Don’t become car broke on a car you aren’t going to own for more than a few years.  This is throwing money away.

What is it Worth to You

The most important thing to remember is what is the vehicle worth to you.  I’ve wanted a new truck for years.  My personal problem is that no truck with 150,000 miles is worth the $10,000 they seem to want for one.  I’ll admit I want a good truck.  I plan on keeping it for a long time, and I don’t want to be fixing it all the time.  This is where I admittedly would have to spend over $10,000 for the kind of truck I want.  To me a $10,000 truck should have a good rust free body, have around 100,000 miles and be in great working order.  I have yet to find one like that in my price range.  This is why I don’t own a newer truck.

When you are looking at a new vehicle think about what the vehicle is worth to you.  There is no need to spend over your budget for a vehicle to just get you from point A to point B.  Just because you want it doesn’t make it worth the money.  The value of a vehicle is always going down, so spending to much from the start is like throwing your money away.

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