If you’re looking to buy the car of your dreams but think you can’t afford it, don’t despair. By setting realistic savings goals and sticking to them, you may be able to get behind the wheel sooner than you think.
Buying a new car outright means you need substantial savings behind you to make your purchase — which can take a long time to accumulate. Many people instead opt to get vehicle finance to lease a new car or buy it over time. But even if you choose to go down this route, you still need to be budget conscious to ensure you can keep up with your monthly repayments. Whether you choose to lease or take out a loan, here are five easy tips to help you get behind the wheel of your dream car sooner.
Tip 1. Figure out how much you need
When you’re working out how much a new car will set you back, don’t fall into the trap of only considering the manufacturer’s purchase price. Other costs you’ll need to pay upfront may include:
You’ll also need to factor in ongoing costs for:
Tip 2. Calculate your income and expenses
Work out how much is left from your monthly earnings after you’ve paid for all your living costs. That will give you an idea of how much you can afford to spend on a car loan or lease.
Remember to take into account:
You should also make an allowance for future expenses you might have down the track for things like holidays or home renovations.
Tip 3. Reduce unnecessary spending
Once you start keeping track of your monthly spending, you may find there some areas where you could trim the fat. For example, you might be able to cut down on your restaurant dining, clothes shopping or luxury holidays to save extra cash without making a huge impact on your lifestyle.
Of course, everyone’s situation is different, but by sticking to a budget and limiting your expenses, you may find that your car of your dreams is more affordable than you thought.
Tip 4. Get financial advice
Many people think professional financial advice is only for pre-retirees or the ultra-wealthy. But no matter what your age or income, getting expert advice can help you build your savings and explore your investment options.
Your accountant or a financial planner can help you with strategies for realising your financial goals sooner. Alternatively, you can speak to a vehicle finance expert to get specialist advice on buying a new car.
Tip 5. Consider your options
You may think that purchasing a new car is the only option available, but that’s not the necessarily the case. Depending on your circumstances, leasing a new car might make more financial sense — and you can potentially refinance and upgrade to a new model at the end of your lease.
You might also see if you can arrange a Novated Lease through your employer as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement, with your lease payments coming out of your pre-tax salary. But if your heart is set on buying rather than leasing, you can structure your finance repayments to suit your budget, by either paying a deposit upfront or a ‘balloon payment’ at the end of your loan term.
You should consult both your accountant and a car finance specialist at your dealership to find the solution that best meets your needs, budget and lifestyle.
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