When you’re ready to buy a good used car, make sure you understand the financial impact on your household budget. Not only will you be responsible for making the monthly payments, but you’ll have the monthly operational costs to deal with. Combining all of the costs of owning a car will help you understand what kind of budget you’re working with to spend on a used car. Buying just the right car for you means buying within your budget.
How much will you be driving this car? Do you have a two-hour commute to work and back every day? Or do you work from home and only drive down the street to the market occasionally? If you drive a lot of miles each month, a car that gets 16 miles to the gallon could cost you hundreds of extra dollars each month in fuel. A small economy car or a hybrid could be more beneficial for your budget to afford the gas for a two-hour work commute, so this is something to consider before you head down to your dealership.
Expect to take your car in every three or four months for an oil change and a check of all the fluids. If the car you buy is still under manufacturer warranty, you may want to take it in to the dealer for the recommended maintenance check-ups. At Auto City, we offer an exclusive Worry Free warranty with every vehicle we sell so you can have extra peace of mind.
If you live in an area with dramatic seasonal changes, you may take your car in before the cold winter and hot summer months to get it ready for the harsh weather. Setting aside a few dollars each month will help when it’s time for these service trips.
If you are on a tight budget when buying a used car, make sure the car has a good set of tires. They can give you a few years of use before spending hundreds of dollars on a new set of tires. With older tires, you may soon have to deal with the cost and stress of fixing a flat tire or replacing them altogether.
Routine maintenance of the tires adds little cost to the car ownership. Make sure they are inflated properly and if you spot any signs of nails in the tires, as well as cracked or split sidewalls, take the car into a shop to have them inspected.
A number of things can make your car run rough. From dirty fuel injectors to faulty spark plug wires, there are a number of reasons you may take your car in for a tune up. Remember, keeping your car running well gives you better gas mileage, thus saving you money, and it also provides you with the peace of mind of knowing you have reliable transportation.
Simply driving your car, starting and stopping, hitting potholes and dodging other road hazards wears down your brakes and suspension. These normally don’t fail suddenly, but when you start to have a problem with them, it’s best to address the issue quickly for your own safety. As with the regular maintenance, saving s little money each month toward these repairs will keep you from scrambling to find a few hundred dollars for a brake job.
Take all of these factors into consideration to create an estimate of the overall costs of owning a car. This way you’ll know how much money you need each month to drive it and keep it in good repair. When you head to Auto City once you’ve calculated your budget, one of our used car experts will work with you to find your perfect match within your budget. When you can afford to drive and maintain your car each month, you’ll be much happier with it for years to come.