4 Tips for Buying a Second Car

One of the most challenging aspects of raising a growing family is being able to afford transportation. Whether for the daily commute, taking the kids to school and extracurricular activities, and running errands, having a reliable family vehicle is probably high on your list of priorities. Sometimes, the addition of a second vehicle is necessary, but with the cost of used cars on the rise, this can be financially daunting. If you are considering the purchase of a second vehicle, there are a few tips you can keep in mind to make it easier on your budget.


1.     Consider Want Vs. Need

Before you start browsing used car deals, you might want to sit down with your spouse and take a hard look at your finances and your reasons for wanting a second car. List those reasons and then discuss if they can be solved with public transportation or by changing how you share the car you already have. There may be other alternatives to taking on additional debt, especially once you are honest with each other about why you want a second car.

2.     Reorganize Your Finances

Reviewing and organizing your finances before you consider buying a second vehicle can help you avoid serious money troubles later on down the road. This can be especially important if you are still paying on your first vehicle or have a monthly mortgage payment.

There are several steps you can take to reorganizing your finances. First, gather your bills and calculate how much you pay out monthly compared to what you bring in. If there is a deficit, then buying a second car may be a big challenge. Obtain a copy of your credit report and, if possible, take six months to a year to clean up smaller chunks of debt. This may improve your credit score and give you a better chance at finding an affordable loan later.

3.     Consider Additional Expenses

As you evaluate your budget, you should keep in mind that the cost of buying a second car does not simply lie in the monthly car payment. You will also have to consider other expenses, such as what it will cost to insure the vehicle, maintenance costs, and the cost of gas, especially if you plan to use the car for a daily commute.

There may be ways for you to save money within these costs, however. For example, you could shop around for a local mechanic in the area and compare costs and services before you must take your car in. Your local insurance agent may also be able to help you find ways to save money on car insurance. For example, if you live in central Georgia, a local Atlanta insurance agency might be able to let you know what discounts are available for your policy.

4.     Take Your Time with Financing

Unless you plan to pay cash for an inexpensive vehicle you find online, there is a good chance that you will be financing your second car. If so, then you will want to take the time to do your homework in this area. Ask your bank what kind of car loans they are offering, especially if you belong to a credit union, as these lenders sometimes specialize in offering affordable loans and interest rates.

If you decide to finance directly through a car lot, take the time to compare different rates and payment schedules. Not all dealerships operate the same, so it is important that you know what to expect before you find a car that is both affordable and suits your family’s needs.

Buying a second car can be a challenge, especially when your family is growing and managing your finances becomes a balancing act. However, finding the right car and affordable payments is possible, with careful planning and forethought.

Skye About Skye

Real Mom Review's founder and main author, Skye Moyer is a 27 year old, stay at home mother of four beautiful children who is currently traveling all over the U.S. in her RV! She has been married to her best friend for almost 10 years and is happiest when surrounded by family & friends!

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