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  • Writer's picture Treavor Dodsworth CFP®, CPA, CKA®

#97 - Car Shopping

Car Shopping

As I mentioned in the last post, our car recently died and we were left scrambling searching for another car. Car buying is something that I do not have much experience in. In reality, I will probably only buy about 15 cars over the course of my life. That said, I am listing out a few tips below and also requesting that you share your tips with me. Collectively we can take on this oftentimes stressful car shopping experience.

  1. Remember a car salesman is trying to sell you a car.

  2. Just because you can "afford' the monthly payment doesn’t mean you can afford the car. Buying in cash is typically preferred.

  3. Do your research beforehand. Know what type of car you are looking for and potentially even the exact car you are looking at instead of just showing up at the dealership with a checkbook.

  4. Miles per gallon and ongoing maintenance should definitely be taken into account when comparing cars. Fuel and repairs could easily be more expensive than the car itself. At the same time though, actually do the math so you don't overestimate the impact.

  5. Also, another advisor reminded me to remember the ongoing costs of car insurance and vehicle taxes. These will likely vary depending on the car you buy.

  6. Personally, I have typically wished I spent less on a car vs. more.

  7. Get a second opinion… in my case- get my wife’s opinion.

I dislike spending money on cars and take a very practical approach to them. I realize that is not the aim of everyone (not a bad thing). Therefore you may have a different experience to share. What are your car buying tips?


Interesting Article(s) or Video(s)

  • The general rule is distributions from retirement accounts before age 59.5 are subject to an early distribution penalty. There are several exceptions though. Sarah discussed the Age-55 Rule in this article.


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