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Author: Penny Babbage

Buying a car on a budget

New or Used

First things first. Do you want that new-car-smell and the security, safety and typically higher price that goes with it, or are you happy to search the market for a reliable used car at a lower purchase price?

A new car will usually feature more of the mod-cons, and will come with some sort of warranty against malfunctions, etc, protecting you against repair costs. New cars may also come with capped price servicing. A used car may be more affordable up-front, but make sure you find one which has had regular log-book servicing, and get a mechanic to give it a once-over before settling up.

Check out our full guide to buying a car here.

What can you afford?

Your eyes might bulge when you spot a brand new muscle car, but think beyond the initial purchase. A car’s expenses don’t end when you buy it, they’re just beginning.

When making your choice, think about how much each car is going to take to register, to insure, to keep serviced, to have repaired, how much petrol it will chew through, etc.

You need to be sure that your ongoing budget is flexible enough to accommodate these frequent costs, otherwise your new set of wheels might make a very expensive driveway ornament before long.

Plan your savings

Once you’ve locked down how much your car is going to cost you to buy, you’re all set to start saving. Punch in your target amount into our Savings Goal Calculator to see how much you’ll need to grow your nest egg each week/month.

If you’re finding it difficult to get your savings out of first gear, it might be time to do a full appraisal of your incomings and outgoings using our Budget Calculator. If you’ve never set up a personal budget for you, we can show you how in 4 easy steps.

Reach your Savings Goal sooner

Put your foot down and watch your savings grow faster by opening a High Interest Savings Account (you can even open one online). This way you can deposit your regular savings (plus any extra you can afford) and be rewarded for your good saving habits with a great rate of interest. If you’ve already got a pretty good chunk of change saved, a Term Investment might be the way forward – it lets you lock in your savings for a fixed term at a set rate, so you know how much you’ll earn up front.

You can even give your Savings Account or Term Investment a name like “Car Fund” or “New wheels” using The Greater’s online banking to help you stay focused.

If you’re still noticing that your savings are looking a little thin on the ground, we’ve put together some handy guides to controlling your spending, and banking smarter to avoid fees, which we feel may help.

Motivation is key

Use our Internet Banking and Mobile App to regularly check in with your savings total. Watching your balance grow is really satisfying, and will spur you on to stay on track towards your new car.

If you found this blog helpful, and would like to be kept up to date with regular financial hints and tips, why not connect with The Greater on Social Media?