Shopping for a car can be intimidating, but it’s even more difficult to navigate when you’re on a strict budget. Buying a car within heavy financial restrictions can limit you and even overwhelm you.

Here are some important things to think about to help keep your expenses as low as possible and have your new car fit within your budget.

Your Financing

First of all, you’ll need to take into account how much you can send and how you’ll be paying for the car. Whether you’re trading in an old vehicle, putting down a deposit, buying cash or financing the whole vehicle will determine your monthly expenses.

Planning your financing ahead of time is the best way to know exactly what you can afford and avoid overspending.

Extra Expenses

When budgeting for your car, don’t forget the extra expenses that will come alongside your standard monthly repayment.

Before you make a decision and purchase a vehicle, look out for the cheapest car insurance and find out about average maintenance costs on the vehicle you’re looking at. You’ll need to pay for gas, so you can research the fuel efficiency of the car too, and consider other expenses like keeping the car clean, and how easy it would be to source replacement parts in the case of damage.

Your Lifestyle

The way you live and the type of travelling you do will play a major role in the type of car you need. If you typically only drive around town, to work and back and perhaps to the grocery store, you won’t need a massive car with a seriously powerful engine.

On the other hand, if you travel long distances often and have a large family, you’ll need a bigger and more comfortable vehicle with more power and features.

You’ll be able to save money if you purchase a car that fits within your needs and means instead of reaching beyond what’s required. However, it’s also important not to waste money on a smaller, cheaper car if it isn’t going to serve the purpose you need it to.

New Versus Used

The age-old question of new or used has been debated by many. The fact of the matter is that there is no right or wrong answer – it all depends on your preferences and budget.

Many argue that buying a used car is a far cheaper option and those on a budget should always take this route. This is a valid consideration, however, it should also be noted that used vehicles are also less reliable, could have issues soon after purchasing them and might end up costing you more money in repairs than a new car would have.

While a new car is a more expensive upfront, there is a much smaller chance of unexpected problems and you’ll know that the car will last you many years, especially if it comes with a warranty.

All in all, car shopping on a budget may be daunting, but with proper planning and research, you can still find an amazing vehicle within your means.