After you spend the money to get a new vehicle, you still have other immediate costs: insurance and DMV registration. Depending on the car you get, these costs can end up being hundreds of dollars. There are some simple things to consider when buying a car to reduce these costs later.
Consider Older Vehicles
If you're already buying used and you are torn between a model that is nine years old or ten years old, it's always better to choose the slightly older car if the other specs (like mileage and fuel economy) remain similar. Registration costs fall to a mere 50 dollars between 10 and 12 years old in most states, instead of larger percentage of the purchase price and extra charges for weight. On the flip side, newer cars will always cost more to register, so when buying, weigh out the savings. If the difference over the course of a few years would mean hundreds saved in registration costs, it might be worth it to consider older models only.
Negotiate the Price
Keep in mind that, in some states, registration is a percentage of the sale price, so negotiating down the purchase price will mean more savings. Don't be afraid to shop around and to compare prices between dealers. If your state registers based on 1% of the purchase price, every thousand saved results in 10 dollars being taken off your overall registration bill. Ask for discounts and bring cash to the bargaining table if you can to help keep the price low. You can also shop sales for the best car prices. Toward the end of the year, many dealers are trying to clear out inventory to make way for new models, so you can sometimes get a better price. The purchase price also affects your insurance rates, especially if you need gap coverage for a loan.
Choose Something Smaller
In general, larger, heavier vehicles are more costly to register. Many states add on extra registration costs for the weight of a vehicle or they charge a few for large pick up trucks, SUVs, and vans. If you do not need a larger vehicle, it's in your best interest to choose a small or mid-size sedan instead.
Be Smart About Features
Some safety features make cars less costly insure. For example, if you do buy new, having traction control and a back-up camera makes your car less likely to be in an accident, especially in high risk areas like parking lots or downtown parking areas. Upgrading safety features may not increase the price of a vehicle too much, but the insurance savings would add up over time. You can also choose models and makes that have high safety, low risk ratings. Insurances companies use statistics to help decide if a car is more or less likely to be in an accident.
Some safety features are for theft prevention, which can also make a car more appealing to insurance companies. However, too many high-end features will increase your car's insurance. Leather seats, upgraded stereo systems, and ambient lighting will affect your rates. Contrary to myth, car color does not have much bearing on your rate, but custom paint colors are harder to repair and replace when an accident requires body work repairs, so that will drive up the overall cost of your insurance.
All together, the features of your car should work to help you instead of hurt you. For some people, the comfort of some luxury features is worth the extra cost.
Cost savings when buying a car don't end at the purchase price. For more information on registering your vehicle after purchase, contact a local DMV office or registration company.Share