This post is from guest author Benjamin Steele. Find him on Twitter @BennyJamminS.
If owning a luxury car is a life goal of yours, affording it may seem a long way off, given your current salary. Even looking ahead with a five-year plan, after a few raises, giving you time to get settled into your career, making that sort of massive purchase and taking on the associated debt can seem like a poor financial decision. And if you approach it the wrong way, it likely will be.
With the right know-how and some patience, however, you could be leaning back into the soft leather interior of a Mercedes or a BMW much sooner than you think. If you’re more into the classic side of things, who knows, you might even snag yourself an Aston Martin and really Bond it up during the morning commute.
It will definitely take some saving, and it will definitely take some careful planning. But if that’s your goal, you can make it happen.
Shop Carefully for Insurance
Insurance is going to be one of the major factors impacting the viability of your purchase. If you can’t find the insurance plan that fits your budget, you’ll be in trouble. Never leave this step until after you’ve purchased a vehicle!
The first thing you need to do is learn the ropes and the lingo. In order to make the most of your shopping around and save on insurance policies, look up keywords that affect your premiums. Remember that being young and purchasing a luxury or sports care are two factors that will drive up your premiums.
One option is to take a higher deductible, which reduces monthly costs, but consider this very, very carefully. High deductibles are risky, especially if your budget is tight. Generally higher premiums, though they hurt the monthly budget more, help to avoid the risk of draining your savings account if the worst happens.
The absolute best way to save on insurance is to keep a clean driving record. No accidents, no tickets, no DUIs. This gives you a little bit of negotiating power. Always ask about which discounts you can apply for when talking with an insurance company. You can often get discounts for good driver history, taking training courses, being enrolled in education, through your occupation, or through bundles.
Don’t Buy New
New cars lose a significant amount of their value the moment you drive them away from the dealership. This means two things:
- Any insurance you get will be based on the current value, not the price you paid. You will be woefully under-protected unless you purchase extra coverage.
- Any insurance you get is more likely to match the value you pay for a used vehicle, as that will reflect its real-world value.
But before you go dashing to the nearest used car lot, take some time to go over your options without a salesman breathing down your neck. You might be surprised what you can find when you check online listings for luxury cars.
With good credit and the right bank, securing a loan for the much lower costs of used vehicles should be doable without the aid of dealership finance plans. This is actually preferable, as you’ll have more control and can use the loan to improve your relationship with your bank. Never forget to check the price against the Blue Book value of that make and model to make sure you’re actually getting a good deal.
As with all other financial goals, snagging that perfect luxury car will require some research and dedication on your part. But you can definitely achieve it if you have the discipline to work on your credit and keep a good driving record. Just try and go more than an hour without getting it blown up. Can you imagine the accident risk premiums that MI6 must pay?!