Car Buying Guide: Tips and Tricks to Save Big on Your Ride


Cars come in second place in most people’s budgets after housing expenses, and it’s common knowledge that a good vehicle can cost a pretty penny. You’re probably eager to cut down on costs when it’s practical to do so, especially when dealing with the large prices that vehicle purchases usually involve. If you’re not sure where to get started, check out these great tips for ideas on how to save on your next ride!

Be realistic about your budget

The first step towards saving on your next vehicle is to get yourself into the proper mindset. Take the time to sit down and get a good idea of what you can realistically afford to pay each month, and mentally commit yourself to that number.

This will help you avoid biting off more than you can chew. Working out a budget ahead of time will also help to put you in a frugal mindset that will lead to more thorough research and savvier decision-making.

Determine what you need your vehicle for

Make sure you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in a vehicle before you start shopping so that you can avoid falling for useless gimmicks. You don’t want to get talked into paying extra for a feature you won’t even use!

If you have an active family life or like to carpool with your friends, then you probably shouldn’t go for a small, sporty car. If you intend to prioritize frugality moving forward, then you’ll want to look for excellent fuel efficiency.

Never rush your decision-making

This is a big one since impulse buys are hardly ever good decisions. If you choose to purchase from a dealer, be warned that every salesperson on the floor is eager for you to start filling out paperwork.

Reign in your excitement, take notes, and then step away to think things over. If you know that you’re prone to getting caught up in hype or succumbing to social pressure, then do window shopping online. Look at your options and compare deals in your own time without anyone pushing you to decide quickly.

Whenever possible, compare prices from multiple different locations to ensure that you’re getting the best deal instead of just a good one. This simple tip could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars!

Buy used and research the vehicle’s reliability

It pretty much goes without saying that if you want to save big on a vehicle, you should shun new vehicles by default. There’s no reason to spend thousands extra on a brand-new vehicle when you can save that money by going for a used vehicle instead. Used vehicles sold by dealerships have been detailed anyway, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find any noticeable difference. For peace of mind, use a VIN decoder (like to look up whether a potential buy has been in any serious accidents.

In addition to buying used, make sure you do your homework when it comes to each specific vehicle’s reliability. Look up common issues that people have had with those models and see how costly they are to fix. You might find what looks like a great deal, but if that vehicle has a reputation for engine failure, you may not feel comfortable accepting that risk.

Some of the most expensive car repairs to deal with are:

  • Transmission
  • Suspension
  • Head gasket
  • Camshaft
  • Brake line

If a vehicle you’re researching is notorious for any of these issues, you might want to steer clear!

Go back in time to do your shopping

Not literally, of course: This simply means that you should narrow your search to models that are a few years old. Many people believe that newer is better, so there’s usually a significant jump in price when you’re looking at newer models.

Keep in mind that your vehicle is for transportation first and foremost. A vehicle model from a couple of years ago is likely to do the job just fine, especially if it’s still low on miles, so it’s worth the opportunity to save big.


Buying a new vehicle is usually quite an exciting experience! However, it can be a pricey upgrade to make. If you’d like to save big on your next ride, refer to this list of handy tips before making any purchases. By being thorough in your research and decision-making and making some smart compromises, you can save bundles.