Car financing is huge these days. Most people never even take notice of the sticker price, instead they look at how much a month it’s going to cost them.
But don’t fall for the car finance mistakes that many trip up on.
1. Paying a deposit via credit card
All car finance packages ask for an initial payment up front. This can be from a few hundred pounds to 3 or even 6 month’s worth of payments.
Some can afford this, especially if you have sold an older car and still have equity in it. But for more prestigious brands and higher worth cars the down payment to secure the finance can be a few thousand pounds.
Yup, it will get you into that low monthly cost but if you leave a three grand lump sitting on your credit card you need to factor in those monthly payments too.
Try and avoid it at all cost.
2. Search around for the best rate
It takes time to find the lowest APR and cheapest monthly cost. There are so many leasing companies out there nowadays, with each offering slightly different terms, maintenance, insurance thrown in, mileage rate.
It can take an awfully long time to choose what you believe to be a good deal. Later you may find that wasn’t such a good rate, and you could have got so much more for your money.
3. Knowing your budget
A brand new Audi for £280 a month may seem like a good deal. You can stretch to that. But what if your circumstances change after a year? Your rent or mortgage goes up, another unexpected payment comes into your life and makes your then struggle to keep up the payments. You then end up resenting that nice, brand new white Audi you were so excited to lease a few years ago.
Make sure you’re comfortable making those payments. Don’t stretch yourself, it’s just not worth it.
4. Test drive before committing
You’d be surprised by the number of people who fall in love with the looks of a car before even test driving one. Especially in today’s time precious world you can lease a car online without ever having driven it. It’s a good idea to try a few different engines and check out the varying trim levels in person, get a feel for the car and its practicality. Can it do everything you ask of it?
If you are one of those people who buys before you try, it’s worth opting for a company that allows you to hand the car back within the 14 day cooling off period. It’s rare to find such a service, but handy if you decide you really do hate it after it arrives on your drive.
5. Knowing your credit rating
What’s your credit score? …exactly.
The majority of people don’t know this. If you score poorly your payments and deposit will be higher and the cars on offer for your budget will be limited.
So there’s no point in setting your heart on the car of your dreams until you have checked this out, or been approved credit.
Many of the online brokers can give you an instant decision when you apply online, that also saves you the hassle of filling in paperwork at the dealership, the awkward ‘sorry but it’s a no’ – they do the majority of the form filling so you don’t have to.