Family Cars: How to Get the Most Value for Your Money

Buying a new car is a major financial commitment, no matter how comfortable you are with your finances. The good news is, there are plenty of ways you can save money when buying a vehicle for your family. Want to learn more? Read our guide for tips and tricks to help you find a car that fits your lifestyle and your budget.

Prioritize the features that matter most

When you’re first beginning the car buying process, it’s easy to get carried away with all of the features you want or think you need. But the truth is, when you’re buying a family car, the only thing that truly matters is safety. Many of the other things can be added on aftermarket or could just be sacrificed altogether.

As far as safety goes, you’ll want to be sure that any vehicle you’re considering has the safety features needed to keep you and your passengers safe. Search for the year, make, and model (or search for “safe family cars” online) and you’ll be able to compare reviews and find any manufacturing issues or recalls. This is a great way to ensure you’re choosing the best car for your family.

Another must-have feature many car buyers prioritize is fuel-efficiency. Not only is it better for the environment, but getting a hybrid or electric vehicle can save you money on gas and potentially be a cheaper option overall. If you want to see the data on how gasoline costs add up to your vehicle expenses, you might want to try out a car management app to help you keep track of your car’s MPG, fuel expenses, and maintenance. Not only is this information just good to know, but it can also give you more direction in the car buying process.

Find alternative solutions for lacking features

While there’s no alternative to safety or fuel-efficiency, there are some other ways you can make up for lacking features to save money on buying a car. Here’s how.

Storage space: If you need space to store items but don’t want to shell over the cash for a large SUV, a vehicle roof rack may be a simple solution for your new car.

Entertainment features: High-end entertainment features are often a big-sell for family vehicles, but they don’t have to be as expensive as you might think. Instead of buying a car outfitted with the latest and greatest entertainment technology, lend the kiddos the iPad for the long ride or maybe even hand them a book or game to pass the time.

Search for local deals

If you have your eye on a specific make or model vehicle, like a Toyota or Volkswagen, keep an eye on your local Toyota and Volkswagen dealerships to see if they’re running any special holiday deals or events. In addition, buyers should note that experts recommend buying on days where the dealership is less likely to be busy, such as a stormy day. When there are less customers on the floor, salespeople may be more desperate to make a sale, and therefore, might offer a more generous discount than they would have otherwise.

If you’re confident with your bargaining skills, you can feel free to exercise them while you’re at the dealership. Just keep these tips in mind:

● Educate yourself on average pricing

● Secure your financing in advance

● Don’t be unreasonable

● Be polite

● Compare deals with other sellers

Another way you might be able to save money on your vehicle purchase is by buying from a private seller. However, buyers should know that this can be a more risky approach, and they should always have the vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic before making a purchase.

Buy a used or older model

If you’re shopping for a vehicle on a budget, you may want to consider buying a used or older model. Oftentimes when manufacturers debut another model, there aren’t actually as many changes as you might have expected.

If you have your heart set on a specific kind of vehicle, you might want to see if there are any used or older options that would fit your needs.

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