04.05.2023 By Amanda Woods

5 Steps To Consider When Purchasing A Car

Now that you’ve transitioned out of the military and are enjoying your civilian lifestyle, you may find yourself thinking that it’s time for a new set of wheels! Deciding to save for a large purchase is an empowering and exciting time. We understand that the car-buying process can be overwhelming at times, but we’re here to help! Below are 5 steps to consider when buying a new car!

1. Get A Clear View of Your Finances. This is a great time to review your Spending and Savings Plan so that you have a clear picture view of your current financial landscape. Not only will this help you identify how much you’ll be able to save each month to purchase your car, but this will also help you determine what a reasonable monthly payment will be.

This is also a great time to determine whether you’ll be saving to buy a used car outright with cash, or saving for a downpayment on a newer vehicle that you’ll need financing to purchase. This will help you determine the total amount you’ll need to save to be ready to make your purchase. 

Not sure whether you want to buy used or new? The CFPB created a helpful resource that walks you through your options!

2. Set a Goal & Make A Plan. Now that you have a clear view of your finances, it’s time to take the Veteran Saves Pledge! By taking the pledge, you’ll identify what you plan to save monthly to reach your goal, determine the timeline of your goal, and commit to making your dream of buying a new car a reality. 

Also, once you take the pledge you’ll receive nudges from the Veteran Saves team to help keep you on track by supporting you to reach your goal.

3. Do Your research. We encourage you to do your research when saving to make a large purchase. When looking to purchase a new vehicle, take a look at online reviews and ratings as well as their safety ratings and gas mileage. You’re essentially looking to learn as much as you can about our potential purchase so you can make an informed decision.

By doing your research, you are building your financial confidence and ensuring that you’re making the most appropriate purchase for you and your wallet.

4. Understand Your Financing. When you’ve found the car you want to purchase, we encourage you to do your research when it comes to your financing. Unless you plan to purchase your vehicle outright with cash, you will be looking for a lender to finance this purchase. When you’re shopping around, be sure to compare interest rates from different lenders to find the best deal.

5. Take Advantage of Veteran Discounts! Remember that you have a wealth of resources available to you as a veteran, including discounts and benefits that can help make your purchase more affordable. Many car dealerships and insurers offer discounts to veterans, so be sure to ask about any special rates, offers, or promotions.

Want more information on saving for a large purchase? Head over to the Veterans Saves Blog to learn more about Saving For Expected Expenses!