I’ve always said that I’m not really bothered about cars. I think my exact words at one point were ‘a car is just something that gets me from A to B so I don’t need anything new or fancy’.
But that changed earlier this year when my commute to work doubled and my old car which we bought for less than £600 decided it just couldn’t cope with the extended journey. I’d been hoping it would last a bit longer so we could save for a new car but it wasn’t playing the game and gave up before we’d saved much more than a deposit for a new one.
We made the decision to get a car on finance and pay it off as soon as we could so the job began of finding a new car which met all of our requirements – five-door, big boot, good on petrol and BlueTooth so I could connect my phone. Basically, I needed a good practical family car and I very nearly got exactly that.
But, at the last minute, I decided that I really did care about what sort of car I got and if I was going to be paying for a car monthly then it had better be something that I loved. That gave me two options – a Mini Cooper or a Fiat 500. Neither of which is a good practical family car but both are cars that I love.
In the end, I went for the Fiat just because they seem to be better on petrol and the colours were prettier. 😉
Just look at how pretty it is! And it may not be a family car but we already have a Mokka that we saved for and bought outright last year so I decided to go for the feels rather than the practicalities and I love it! I even love it so much that I (barely) begrudge when I see the monthly payment coming out of my bank account.
Because we had the deposit saved, we don’t have huge payments so I definitely recommend getting together as much deposit as you can before you even start shopping. If you are thinking about saving and buying a new car then here are a few things to consider…
Set yourself a target
The first thing you should do before you start saving is to set a savings goal – are you trying to save a good deposit, buy a new car outright or just save enough to get a decent car. If you know what your savings goal is then you can start to work towards it.
Work out your budget
Knowing how much you need to save up is the first step in creating a budget. You should then look at your income and outgoings and work out how much you can budget. You can work out your budget either weekly or monthly depending on when you get paid and your outgoings. Then with your disposable income, you can set some money aside for your savings account – it really is as easy as that! Saving doesn’t have to be complicated and as long as you commit to it regularly, your savings account can soon build up.
Open a savings account
Ok great, you’ve got a savings target and a budget in place but where will you keep the money? Can you trust yourself to not dip into your savings? Why not consider opening a savings account? There are many different types of savings accounts, depending on what you want from it so shop around and see what works for you. For me, it was a savings account that linked to my bank account so I could transfer money across with no effort because the more effort I have to put in, the less likely I am to do it.
Consider car finance
One way to afford the car you want is to consider a car finance deal. Bear in mind that you could be refused car finance as it isn’t guaranteed, but there are many car financing options nowadays so you shouldn’t have a problem – especially if you have a deposit to put towards the car as we did. With car finance, you can spread the cost of owning the car you want into affordable monthly payments. We needed a car before we had a chance to save more than a deposit and this was the only way we could do it at the time.
Increase your credit score
Increasing your credit score can help your chances of being approved for car finance. If you are looking to get your dream car on finance but are worried about applying for bad credit car finance, it may be worth thinking about improving your credit score first. There are many easy ways you can increase your credit score, which can also get you into better borrowing habits. The easiest way to improve your credit score is to make all your payments on time. Even 3 months’ worth of evidence that you can be trusted to make all your repayments on time and in full can increase your credit score. If you aren’t registered on the electoral roll, this can be an easy way to increase your credit score as potential lenders can use your credit score to verify that you are who you say you are and check your address history.
You can check your credit score for free here.
Make some extra money
Another way to boost your savings is to consider how you can make extra money. There are so many ways you can do this that I could never cover them all in one section of a post but you can read some of my ‘Make Money‘ posts if you want some inspiration.
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