Car Buying

How do you know how much can you afford to spend on a car?

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Wiki User
2015-07-15 18:54:21
2015-07-15 18:54:21

A good rule of thumb: your monthly auto loan payment should not be more than 20% of the money you have available each month after you pay for your usual living expenses ? rent or mortgage, utilities, food and transportation, credit card payments, etc. When reviewing your budget, you should also take into consideration other associated costs including fuel, license, registration, personal property taxes and insurance. Call your insurance company before you purchase your car to determine what the monthly insurance cost will be.

If you're taking out a car loan, figure on a down payment of at least 10 percent. Lenders might be skeptical otherwise. If you have enough cash available to boost that percentage, do so. Cutting the principal of your loan will do more to slash payments than getting a lower interest rate.

If you have ailing credit, which can result from a pattern of late payments, you may find yourself in the "subprime" financing arena. If you have credit problems, you should first try to work with a consumer credit counselor or other advisor. It may be possible to consolidate debts or come up with a workable repayment plan. If you show a loan officer that you are taking action to overcome the problems, they may be more willing to grant a loan at a reasonable rate.

In addition, be sure to check out alternate sources for loans such as the credit union at your workplace, your bank, or other organization with which you are affiliated. As a last resort, dealers may offer special financing packages for those with credit problems. However, you might pay as much as four percentage points more for a loan.

Since your car is in the top three of the list where in you will be investing (house, business and car), you should be able to spend much for it. Whether you will acquire it via loan or cash that you have, the expenses that needs to be spent does not end there. To have a properly running vehicle, you should be also willing to spend on maintenance and services. This extra payments will actually reduce more expensive stuffs in the future like repair or part change.

Another factor to consider is the cost of upkeep- repairs and insurance are big factors for both new and used car purchases. If you can afford to buy a car but can't allocate the funds to repair vital parts, you are paying for something unusable.

The best thing to do is to check out insurance sites- allstate and geico have very easy to use rate estimate givers. is a great place to check out estimated repair costs and cost of ownership for autos.

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What kind of car a lawyer can afford depends on the lawyer's income and debt. Many lawyers in the United States graduate from law school needing to repay student loans, which reduces the amount of money they can spend on a car.

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As much as you can afford.

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That depends on what you, personally, can afford or is willing to spend?

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