While shopping for a new car can be exciting, if you have a very small budget that you’re working with, the activity of car shopping can feel more like a chore than something you actually get pleasure out of doing.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to help make it easier to find and purchase a car even if you don’t have a lot of money to work with. For those who find themselves in this type of situation, here are three tips for shopping for a car when you have a small budget.
Brush Up On Your Negotiation Skills
To get the kind of car you want at the price that you can afford, one skill that you’re going to want to brush up on is negotiating.
According to Shane Murphy, a contributor to MoneyWise.com, although negotiating and haggling over price may make you uncomfortable, it can also help you get what you want or even more than you thought you’d be able to get. Especially if you’re working with a dealership to buy the car, you should generally first offer 10 to 15 percent lower than what they’re asking for the car. This could open up a lot more options for you if you’re willing to negotiate to drive a harder bargain.
Pick The Right Year Of Car
When you have a small budget, it can be hard to know how much to compromise on as far as the safety and reliability of the car goes. While you can’t spend more money than you have, you also don’t want to get a car that’s going to be more trouble than it’s worth.
With this in mind, Gregg Fidan of RealCarTips.com, shares that the sweet spot here is usually looking for a car that’s between five and seven years old. In this range, the car has depreciated enough that it should be reasonably affordable but it’s not so old that it’s unreliable. So if you can afford any cars of this age, they should usually be your first choice.
Tap Into Your Network When Shopping Around
As you’re actively out shopping for your new car, one thing you might want to consider is sharing your desires with your personal network of friends and associates. According to TheMechanicDoctor.com, your own research in conjunction with what and who your friends know might open up other possibilities to you that you couldn’t have found on your own.
If you’re needing to get a new car but you have a fairly tight budget that you’re working with, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you see how to stretch your money as much as possible and find ways to increase your chances of getting a good deal.