Anything worthwhile in life requires an adequate amount of planning, and when it means taking on a major project such as buying a car, there is a certain amount of self-evaluation required. The questions that require an answer include “what type of car am I capable of buying? Is it brand new or used? What make and model do I want?” Once these have been sorted, you begin to ask yourself if there is the financial capability to pay outright, or in instalments. If instalments, within what time frame? Do you want to seek out financing options? In concluding the self-examination, you should research on the model and make of car you prefer, ensuring that maintenance servicing and repairs services, as well as spare parts, are readily available in your locality. The extensive research can be done through customer reviews on websites of car dealers online and many others, you are armed with sufficient information, you can commence the setting up of the budget.


Factors to set up a budget for a car


  • Determine how much you can afford to spend, in absolute figures. Ensure that your calculation is based on your take-home after taxes, rather than the gross income. Once you determine how much you can afford in totality, if you chose a payment plan, make sure that you include the interest rates in the total package you can afford per time. Reading firsthand experiences of people who have gone through the same challenges on might also turn up insightful information on budgeting and other related topics.
  • Since we are talking about budgeting for a car, paying outrightly does not even apply here. And it is important to ensure that getting an auto loan does not cripple the quality of your life, especially since you will still need money to do random things like buying fuel and maintenance servicing periodically. It is therefore advisable that the monthly repayment plan on your auto loan should not exceed fifteen per cent of your net monthly income. If you already have institutional expenses such as mortgage and student loans, then you might be walking a financial tight rope.
  • Here’s a clue to negotiate better interest rates: make a huge down payment. This means that the planning process for your car could include the pre-purchase financial planning period, where you save up towards making a down payment that can slash your loan by a quarter, or twenty per cent, at the minimum.
  • Try to shoot for a car that can be financed fast, like a model that is not entirely the newest on the dealership lot. If you are buying a car that is the latest model in town, be sure that your plans to pay for it are concrete to avoid missed payment that could lead to repossession and ultimately, damaging your credit ratings.
  • Ensure that your budget captures costs such as dealership documentation fees, state fees such as licensing, registration and title fees, auto insurance, dealership costs and others.

The above list is only general highlights to consider when budgeting for a car, but readers should bear in mind that there are several variables in the mix. A person who already has a car can gain some respite by trading in the old car; some jobs pay more than others; the personal responsibilities and or expenses of individuals differ, and the tastes of individuals also differ. However, it is sound logic to follow the highlighted points above, and then personalize them to get the best results.