The following post is sponsored by Toco Warranty, but all opinions are my own. Savvy Mama Lifestyle is a Brand Ambassador representing Toco Warranty.
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Getting a new car for our family is always exciting. Shopping for a new vehicle? Not always fun. There can be a lot of stress involved with the decision. It’s like a treasure hunt: the end is rewarding, but you have to do the work first. I’ve got some helpful used car-buying tips for families that’ll help ease your anxiety. It’s important to do your research and protect your investment for years to come.
Since being a couple, my Husband and I have been in the hot seat, to purchase a vehicle, over 7 times. It’s definitely not my favorite experience, but we’ve learned a lot about purchasing a vehicle. One of the reasons, we’ve done it so much is because we didn’t always make the best decisions for the family. Now, we’ve learned a lot and it’s become a much easier process.
True story: we purchased our 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee used, after building the vehicle in 2014 and owning it for several years. So our vehicle has changed hands three times with only two owners! So we tracked down the same exact vehicle vin to re-buy it, after trading it in once before.
Hopefully, you can use a few of these tips and apply it to your own car buying – learn from our own mistakes!
Why You Should Consider Buying A Used Car vs. New
There are so many incentives to buying a used vehicle over one that still has it’s sticker. It will save you money on insurance costs, registration, taxes and depreciation. With vehicles being more reliable than ever, it’s really a no-brainer to buy used over new.
After making your purchase, securing your new investment is critical. Car maintenance is always important, but it takes top priority when you’ve bought used. For our used vehicle purchase, we depend on Toco Warranty’s vehicle repair coverage in case of an emergency.
With an affordable monthly payment plan, Toco Warranty offers customers financially smart coverage if your car breaks down. The best part? No money down and no binding contract (which means you can cancel at any time if you need to).
For cars three years and older, they have plans that cover parts for a car’s engine, transmission, drive axle, electrical, cooling system, AC, fuel system, and more.
Wherever the road takes you, make every mile with your car (and family) count!
Related: Printable Road Trip Bingo For Kids
5 Used Car Buying Tips For Families
Set Your Budget
Whether you’re paying cash or taking out a loan, there are some great online resources to help out. An auto-loan calculator can calculate the loan for you, based upon your down payment and financing. Try to get pre-approved financing before walking into the dealership. It puts you in a stronger position as the consumer. Don’t forget to keep savings set aside for registration, insurance and your vehicle service contract.
Pick The Right Model For Your Family
We noticed a BIG change when we purchased vehicles after having kids vs our previous shopping trends. Now, we plan ahead for the future. Make a list of the must-have features that are important for your family. Trust me, you’ll want room to grow and cargo space options.
Once you select a few models and brands, check those against the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It’ll give you a run-down of crash test results. In the end, have 3 models that you’d like to research in-person.
Run The Numbers & Think Long Term
You want to know what a vehicle will cost you in the long run. If the purchase price feels low, it may cost more in insurance, maintenance, repairs and depreciation. Kelly Blue Book and Consumer Reports both offer five-year “cost to own” reports, which show a vehicle’s estimated expenses during that time.
Keep in mind that you can slash some of those expenses by securing your investment with Toco Warranty. They’ll help you save on those maintenance and repair costs, and a vehicle service contract (VSC) through Toco could be a better fit than an extended warranty through your dealership. For more on the difference between a VSC and extended dealership warranty, read about it here.
Check The Vehicle History Report
It’s worth purchasing the Vehicle History Report. Some sellers even offer it free to help give buyers peace of mind. You want to know about serious accidents, any claims brought forth to insurance companies and how many times it’s changed hands.
Test Drive & Negotiate To Close The Deal
Test drive the vehicle and see if it’s the right fit. You can look it over, but you’re not an expert mechanic. You can pay for a full professional inspection, from a mechanic, for about $100.
During the test drive, pay attention to the acceleration, brakes and mechanical condition. If you have the opportunity, do a test drive with the family or your spouse. It helps to have a second set of eyes. Plus, you’ll see how your family actually fits into the vehicle space.
Once you’ve finished the testing, it’s time for negotiations. While this is probably the most stressful part of purchasing any car, you’ve already done the research. Use the pricing tools to help you secure the fair market value price. Don’t be afraid to speak up about any concerns you have regarding the car’s condition, too. Ask about any hidden fees and don’t be afraid to walk away if you feel uncomfortable with the asking price.
If you have questions about purchasing an extended warranty alongside your used vehicle, the Toco team can help!
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