5 Things to Keep in Mind When Setting a Budget for a New Car

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Setting a Budget for a New Car

You might be searching for a new car that suits your personal and transportation needs. Whatever your reason, there are several factors to keep in mind. The most important thing is your budget. Consider the five things to help you determine if you can factor the cost of a car into your monthly budget.

1. Your Budget

Create your monthly budget before visiting the showroom. This budget shouldn’t exceed your income. Stick to this budget no matter how tempting it is. Beware of dealers who encourage you to adjust your budget.

They might convince you to put down a larger down payment. You should know how much you can afford to put down. This makes it harder for you to dish out more money than you need to.

2. Your Income

Next, consider your income. It’s an important factor that can affect your car-buying experience. Monthly car payments are very costly. If you’re not sure of what you can afford each month, it can hurt you.

Put down a larger down payment that’s within your budget and income. A larger down payment means lower monthly payments. Experts suggest putting down 20% of the total cost. Consider how much you can afford and set some aside for repairs and routine maintenance.

3. Your Financing Options

Maybe you can’t afford to pay outright with cash. In this case, consider financing options. Find out the available loan options and interest rates. Compare rates from your bank or credit union.

Expand your options by comparing them to other lenders. This can give you a better idea of which option is the most affordable. You should also get pre-approved for financing before you go to the dealer. If you don’t have credit, you should wait to buy a car until you improve your score.

4. Your Credit Score

You should have a credit score. It’s an important factor in your car budget since it affects your financing options. A good credit score will get you a solid interest rate that will save you upwards of thousands of dollars.

It’s possible to improve your credit score if it’s less than stellar. Offer to pay off your credit card bills. Get a co-signer if this doesn’t work in your favor. Just beware of dealerships who might convince you into a longer financing term, which has more interest and could affect your credit score.

5. Taxes and Fees

Don’t forget about the taxes and fees that you’ll incur when you buy a new car. When buying directly from the dealership, you should ask the sales team about any additional costs. You don’t want to end up with sticker shock. Without being aware of the taxes and fees, you’ll end up with a higher cost than expected.

Dealers add fees to the final price. Set aside costs for the sales tax and title fees. You should plan for the final cost of the vehicle. This is a good time to get realistic about what money to set aside, so you can afford to pay the taxes and fees.


  1. https://www.velocitycommunity.org/financial-tips-for-buying-a-car/
  2. https://mint.intuit.com/blog/planning/getting-a-new-car-5-financial-factors-you-need-to-know/