Step1
Step2
Step3
Step4
Step5
Step6
Step7
Step8
Step9
Step10
Step11
Step12
Step13
Step14
Step15
Step16
Step17
Step18
Step19
Step20
Step21
Step22
Step23
Step24
Step25
Step26
Step27
Step28
Step29
Step30

Financial Literacy Month blog

We hope you enjoy reading some of our thoughts as we join you on the path to financial wellness and we encourage you to yours. If you would like to follow our path on a more micro-level, we will be using twitter to chronicle our days.

Click here for Money Management Blogs

 

 

 

 

When buying a car, shop with your head and not your heart

Posted by Kim McGrigg on 4/19/2008

A car payment is an example of a fixed expense. And, obviously, owning a vehicle is no longer considered a “luxury,” even though the cost of transportation can be excessive for many middle-class American’s budgets.
When buying a car, remember that it is, above all, a business transaction. Your car should provide safe, comfortable transportation. Before choosing a car, it is important to realize all of the costs involved. Car and lease payments, insurance, gasoline, repairs, and maintenance can really add up. In fact, these costs can consume up to 20 percent of the driver’s take-home pay.

If you are buying from a dealer, check the Buyer’s Guide that the Used Car Rule requires dealers to post. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Guide becomes part of your sales contract and overrides any contrary provisions. Among other things, the Guide must reveal whether the vehicle is being sold “as is” or with a warranty, what percentage of the repair costs a dealer will pay under the warranty and the major mechanical and electrical systems on the car, including some of the major problems for which you should be on the lookout.

If you purchase a car from an individual, they are not covered by the Used Car Rule and don’t have to use the Buyer’s Guide. In this case, you should request maintenance records and have the car thoroughly inspected by a mechanic. Services such as CARFAX may also be helpful in discovering a vehicle’s history; reports include information about accident damage, flood damage, and odometer fraud. Also contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles to ask what forms they require to transfer the title. For example, some states require an inspection, some states require emissions testing, and others require the bill of sale from the current owner.

Whether you buy from a dealer or an individual, research the car’s value by visiting the Kelley Blue Book’s Web site. You should also research the car’s recall history on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web site.

Choose your vehicle carefully; you do not have 72-hours to change your mind. A 72-hour cancellation notice applies only to certain home solicitations, telephone solicitations, and home improvement contracts. When you are ready to make a purchase, be sure to get all of the details in writing.
0 comments on this post.
Add your own.