Buying a CarAn introduction to the basics of this major purchase and responsibility.

Buying a car can be an exciting experience, but it can also involve some complicated financial decisions - new versus used, paying in full versus financing, what you want versus what you need. And to make matters even more complicated, the price you pay for your car is often determined by negotiation, making it hard to tell whether or not you are getting a fair deal.

Needless to say, spending a few minutes learning how to navigate the car buying experience can pay off in a big way. Here you'll learn how to get the best deal possible, and how to understand the total cost of owning a car – a cost that involves much more than the sticker price. Since cars can be one of the biggest purchases any of us make, in this program we'll review many of the considerations that should go into any major purchase, including cost and depreciation, and others that are specific to buying a car, such as safety, reliability, and the car-buying process.

But before we get started, let's take a moment to think about one important fact about owning a car – they always decrease in value. And in addition to depreciation, which is the amount of value a car loses as it gets older, there are other expenses associated with car ownership that will never be recovered, no matter what you sell the car for years from now. Sales taxes, registration fees, insurance, fuel, maintenance, and repair costs are all examples of car expenses that many people forget until after they have made their purchase. So unless you absolutely need a car to get to school or work, from a financial point of view, the best car is no car.

That said, not having a car is simply not an option for most adults. So the goal of this program is not to tell you what to do or not to do; it is to help you understand all of the financial implications of making a vehicle purchase. Then you'll be better informed, and can make the best decision for you, for all the right reasons.

 Financial Education


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