Answering the Big Question: Is it Time to Buy a Car?

Woman buying a new carShould you or shouldn’t you buy a car? You’re probably considering buying a car right now, or dreaming of one day being able to buy one, or have the money already but is unsure whether you shouldn’t spend it on something more important or just keep it in your savings account.

To arrive at the best answer, try to answer these other questions first as honestly as you can:

How often will you use the car, and for what?

You can always say that you’ll drive it every day, but if you’re doing it for the sake of using the car, you’re throwing away money. Unless you need it to take the kids to school and/or get to work every day, you’re probably going to have a difficult time justifying the purchase.

As for needing the car for a weekly, monthly, or an even less frequent trip to the countryside to see your folks, Metropolitan Rentals recommends finding a car rental instead. Those ‘just in case’ scenarios are not reason enough to buy your own vehicle.

Do you have a parking space?

Don’t overlook the importance of a safe parking space. Aside from keeping your car clean and protected from the elements, a garage also helps protect it from theft. If you have to park on the street three blocks down, your workplace should at least be three times farther than that. You also have to live with the fact that your car can get stolen or vandalised any time.

Can you live with the costs?

Many people make the mistake of looking at a car based only on its price tag. The cost to own is way higher. You need to maintain it, insure it, gas it up, wash it, etc. Those things can quickly add up.

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Do you live close to most of the things you need?

You work two blocks down, just right across the street from the mall, a convenience store is in your apartment building, the hospital is over on the next street, restaurants are lined up behind your home — doesn’t look like you need a car after all. Think about walking or buying a bicycle instead. It’s better for your health, too.

Simply because you think you can afford to buy a car doesn’t mean you should. Answer these questions and you should be closer to the real answer to your first question.