Buying a Used Car: Money-Saving Tips for Any First-Timer

buying a car

Owning a personal car is a dream for many. It does not matter whether it is brand new or second-hand, a car represents freedom and is a means of transport from one place to another. With a vehicle, a person can conveniently travel wherever and whenever they need or want. 

Suppose you are a first-time car buyer who wants to have your car soon; congratulations! Just make sure that you avoid committing the mistakes that first-time car buyers usually make, especially if you plan to buy used cars. If your budget can only afford a used car, for now, you need to be extra keen and wise to ensure that your purchase is worthwhile because second-hand car purchases usually involve a little haggling. You could either save or spend more than necessary.

Here are some tips on how you can stick with the budget you have now and even save money in the process:

Tip 1: Know How Much Money You Have

Keep in mind that just because you’re buying an old car doesn’t mean you are buying a cheap one. It may be a more affordable option, but it still amounts to significant money. Before you settle with a car to purchase, check if you have enough money to actually afford it. How much would the down payment be? Do you have cash for it, or are you planning on applying for a loan? If you are up for a loan, will your credit score allow it? 

Think of these matters before you decide. Doing so would help you identify the kinds of cars you can afford. If you are clueless about how to make the computation, our loan payment calculator can help you figure out how much you need to pay eventually. 

Once you learn about the potential monthly payment you need to meet, do not forget to add the other monthly expenses you need to consider, such as your insurance cost, dealer fee, maintenance budget, license renewals, and more. That way, you can prepare accordingly and not overcommit yourself to something you cannot afford to pay in the long run.

Tip 2: Compute for Your Monthly Payment

If you want another way of computing what car you can afford, you may refer to your savings. How much can you save for your car purchase every month? Then, multiply that by six. If you can only save $250 every month, your six-month savings would amount to $1,500, which should be your reference down payment amount. As such, the best-used car for you to buy will be worth between $16,000 to $18,000. 

If you get a six-year car loan worth $16,000 with an estimated five percent monthly interest, then your monthly payment would be around $233 every month. Take note that the monthly due variable would depend on the interest rate given to you. 

Tip 3: Never Pay a Down Payment Using a Credit Card

It is hard to save for a car down payment, and most first-time car buyers do not have enough cash on hand. But it is still better to wait and save some more instead of relying on your credit card for this purpose. 

Remember that credit cards also run their interest rate. If you choose to pay for your down payment with a card instead of cash, that means you are about to pay two interests simultaneously, which can end up as a considerable amount. Plus, there are other car fees you need to spend on, and you might end up paying for the worth of a brand new car or more if you opt for this path.


Always be realistic when making big purchases like buying a used car. In the end, it is your responsibility, and you are the only person obligated to pay for your loans. If you think that the car you are eyeing does not come with a good deal, do not be afraid to walk away and look for another option. A car that would give you headaches, in the long run, would never be worth it!

If you want a good buy of auto in Brentwood, NH, Lewis Motor Sales is your reliable source for pre-owned cars for sale. We have been in the car business for more than 40 years, and we can provide you with a car unit that meets your demands and help you finance it. Contact us at (603) 347-5140 today to learn more!