Finally getting your dream car is the ultimate status symbol that can make you feel like you’ve made it. The good news is you can look like a million bucks without necessarily spending it with these money-saving tips for buying your first luxury vehicle.
Make Sure You’re Financially Ready
While your business may be doing well and you‘re comfortable with your income right now, a car can take up a lot of your budget. You should always review and optimize your budget before making a big purchase. If you find that you have a healthy amount of discretionary income, you can move on to the next step. If there’s any sign that you could be headed for troubled waters, or your budget just isn’t cushioned enough for your comfort, check out the top tips for getting your finances in shape, like canceling some of those subscriptions you’ve forgotten about or using a budgeting app such as Mint®.
Auto loans are an easy way to fall into debt. The bottom line to avoiding financial hardship and reducing the expenses on your new car is saving up for the largest down payment possible. You should also allocate a significant portion of your monthly income to your car payment. The larger the payments, the faster you can pay off your car which can save you a lot of money in the long run. So, instead of paying off unnecessary interest, you can invest more of that money in your success.
Take Your Time
As a successful entrepreneur, there’s no doubt that you’re busy but investing time in the shopping process is worth it. In addition to figuring out which make and model you want, you should also do some research on dealerships in your city and the surrounding area. Keep in mind, the initial purchase isn’t going to be your only cost. Servicing luxury vehicles is usually much more expensive than your average car. Taking this into consideration can save you money now and in the future.
Think about it this way, if you’re shopping for a car in a big city like Dallas where demand and cost of living are both higher, you’re most likely going to pay a bigger sticker price. Take a short drive over to the Plano where the vehicle price and Audi service will probably be more cost-effective. Before you dive into shopping, get organized.
Create a List of Priorities
It’s easy to get distracted during the car-buying process, especially for luxury cars that have all the bells and whistles. Making a list of your must-haves can benefit you in the long-run though. Think about what features you need, like ones that will make your life more convenient and which ones will make your quality of life better. For example, if you run your own event planning business and spend a lot of your time visiting venues, comfort and efficient gas mileage are probably going to be at the top of your list.
Plus, car amenities are a big selling point for dealers. Small but pricey differences between models can end up costing you a lot more which isn’t worth it if it’s something you won’t actually end up using often. Between the rainfall and the smog, if you live in Houston, you’re probably not going to make the most use of your sunroof so that’s one feature you can save one. Keeping your eye on the prize will help you make sure you get exactly what you want. After all your hard work, you deserve it.
Set Yourself up for Success
Buying your first luxury car will most likely be a learning process. Before making any decisions, do your research. From the type of car you prefer to what type of loan you want to get, there is a lot of information to sift through. At the very least, you should know:
The market value of the car you want
Your credit score and history
The loan term and the interest rate you would ideally want (use AllState’s loan calculator and comparison tool)
Whether your interest rate will go up and if there is a more affordable provider
If you’re self-employed or a new business owner, loan providers might take the opportunity to offer you higher interest rates. But, no matter what your employment status or financial situation, you can get a decent rate if you know what to look for and how to go about getting a loan.
Now that you have the details worked out, you’re ready to buy your first luxury vehicle and can feel good about spending your money wisely. Enjoy the process and celebrate this personal win on your road to success.
About Money & Mimosas: Money & Mimosas was started as a passion project by Danetha, a former NFL cheerleader and CFO. After a brunch conversation with girlfriends, Danetha was inspired to launch a resource to learn how they could all enjoy life while being smart with their money. Because who doesn’t want to have their money and mimosas, too?