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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Low Cost Car Finance - Turning Dreams Into Reality

There are many reasons why you may be considering a new car. Perhaps your existing vehicle had just exploded for the third time this month or it just no longer meets your needs. Maybe you're just dumping it for the attractions of a sleeker and more eye-catching model. Whatever the reason, there's a fair chance you'll be looking for low cost car finance to help you buy it.

Now one of the few indisputable facts of life that nobody likes paying for a car after they've purchased it! After a few weeks of ownership the honeymoon period will be over and although you may still love your new possession, it's quite likely that you'll be increasingly aware of the cost of the repayments.

The most important thing to remember is that moaning about the repayments after you've purchased the car isn't going to achieve much apart from boring your friends and raising your blood pressure. The best time to focus on these things and the finance deal is usually before you buy rather than afterwards!

So, what can you do to keep the costs of your finance down to the lowest levels possible?

The first thing that you may find useful is to get clear in your mind what you mean by 'low cost car finance'. Do you mean 'low cost' in terms of things such as lowest possible interest charges on the loan or 'low cost' in the sense that you can afford the monthly repayments? These are linked but in fact are not the same thing.

Many people may describe their finance repayment charges as 'too high' but in reality they mean that they have purchased a vehicle they cannot afford. If you're paying 500 pounds per month for a car but in fact really can only afford 300 pounds per month then even if you had found a lower interest rate and cheaper deal you would still not have avoided a financial crisis. Your finance deal is not the problem!

So, there are a few common sense steps taken together that may be of use.

1. Work out an amount that you know you could comfortably afford to repay each month. This may sound so basic as to be patronising but in fact people sometimes struggle with this. It may pay to avoid wild optimism or basing your affordability figures on money that you 'hope' to be receiving shortly "if all goes well".

2. Use your 'monthly affordable amount' to find the maximum amount you could borrow based upon it and only THEN search for the car. Falling in love with that Ferrari then trying to find out whether you can afford it may lead to heartbreak and possibly encourage rash funding decisions.

3. Try to remember that there are probably multiple sources of finance open to you. You may find that there is a temptation to take the first finance offer that's put on the table - often by the dealership or salesperson. This may in fact be a good deal but you're unlikely to know that for sure until you've shopped around.

4. You may have to recognise your own limitations! This is never an easy thing for anyone to do but if you're not comfortable with figures, interest rate calculations and financial negotiation then you may not be in the best position to find the best deal for yourself.

The bottom line in that the cost of your car finance will depend to some extent on how well you have prepared your financial position and how much specialist advice and guidance you've taken. The best low cost car finance deals may well be hard to find and need to be 'ferreted out' by people who understand the market. Contacting a specialist provider of car finance options will cost you nothing, is without obligation and may help you get the vehicle you want at a price you can afford.


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