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Columns | Go Far With Kovar

How to Avoid Buyer's Remorse When Purchasing a Car

by Taylor Kovar
Hi Taylor - I'm looking to buy a new car but I'm having a lot of trouble pulling the trigger. Any advice/strategy for spending this kind of money and avoiding buyer's remorse?

Hi Lucy - This can be a really tough decision. When it comes down to it, there's no proven way to get the perfect car for the perfect amount of money, because we all have different incomes and different needs. The best way to ensure you don't instantly regret the buy is to focus on meeting as many of your needs as possible.

1. How much can you spend? The surest way to feel buyer's remorse is going beyond your means. You need to have a very clear idea of how much you can afford and which vehicles fit within your budget. Now, everyone's budget will look different on the day of purchase. I'd love it if you paid in cash, but I understand financing might be a necessity. You have to gauge how much you can afford up front and how quickly you can pay off a loan. A bigger down payment always means better terms, so don't consider extending the payment period in order to save a few bucks walking off the lot. Above all, crunch the numbers thoroughly before you start shopping around.

2. What do you need?
When it comes to car buying, there's an enormous gap between need and want. You might want a 4-door, but are those extra doors really worth a couple thousand dollars? Then there are all the other questions - are you going to use the car for work, do you take frequent long trips, do you need enough space for a family and cargo, how much will you be able to afford in gas each month, etc. Make a list of amenities that are important to you, and then make sure you give those priorities over the nifty functions and sleek lines of the cars you see on the lot. Don't let your wants beat out your needs!

3. Think outside the box. Part of the problem might be feeling like you have to purchase from a dealership and you worry about getting swindled. Have you asked around to see if friends, family or coworkers have cars for sale? Have you checked local listings and then gone to meet with individual sellers? If going this route, I usually find it well worth the hundred dollars it cost for a mechanic to look it over to ensure everything is in order. Make sure you exhaust all the options before going the traditional route.

Buying a car is a big event, and I think it's good that you're feeling a little anxiety. Turn that apprehension into caution and I'm sure you'll find the right deal. Good luck, Lucy!


Taylor Kovar January 25, 2019
More "Go Far With Kovar"

Disclaimer: Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com, or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.

"Go Far With Kovar"

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  • How Can I Avoid Falling Back Into Debt? 12-14-18

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