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Top 5 Ways To Save For A Car

Updated: December 15, 2023

Whether it’s your first car or you’re looking to upgrade your current car, we know you want to save as much money as possible. Good news! There are several ways for you to save when purchasing a car. Thankfully, we have done the research, so you don’t have to! Below we will uncover the top five ways to save for a car, along with two additional tips you can use to help you hold onto more of your hard-earned money.

1. Automate Your Savings

Remembering to manually transfer money into your savings account can be an additional chore added to your overgrowing list of tasks. Why not automate it and save yourself the hassle? Take this a step further and set aside an estimated amount of what your future car payment could be. Not only will this confirm you can afford the car payment, but it will help you reach your down payment faster! Of course, if you can and want to set aside more money, then you may do so.


Hourglass with stack of coins next to it
Two people next to a car that has a "sale" sign on it

2. Buy The Car You Need

We often find ourselves looking outside our budget when it comes to car shopping. Sure, a sports car may sound appealing, but do you really need it if you’re on a budget? Don’t confuse reliable with expensive. You can find a reliable car that’s affordable and meets your needs. If you’re looking to buy a used car, it might be a smart idea to set aside funds in advance for routine maintenance and unexpected repairs.

3. Negotiate a Lower Price

Always remember that car prices can be negotiated! Don’t be afraid to be firm and ask for a lower price. If this intimidates you, ask a friend or family member to come along to give you that extra boost of confidence, or ask if they would be willing to do the negotiating for you. Another great option is to negotiate via email or over the phone before you spend your time visiting in person. Here’s a great article that explains how to send the perfect email to get the lowest vehicle price possible.

A couple speaking with a car salesman at a dealership
Person with a laptop and coffee mug

4. Research Your Car

Another smart move is to spend time researching vehicles on Kelley Blue Book. The last thing you want to do is walk into a dealership without any previous knowledge of competitive prices on the vehicles you’re interested in. Not doing research may result in overpaying for your vehicle. Additionally, look into any options or upgrades you can live without.

5. Consider Buying Used Instead of New

If you’re still trying to decide if you should buy a new or used vehicle, it might be useful to read the advantages and disadvantages of both. If you’ve already decided you want to buy used, check out our used car buying guide. Both articles provide in-depth analysis that can help you make a smart financial decision.

Since a car loses up to 20% of its value as soon as you drive a brand-new car off the lot, you won’t typically have to worry about paying for this markup on older cars. When you purchase used vehicles, depreciation has typically already set in, meaning the total price you are paying will be lower.

Two people at a car dealership

Additional Tips to Help You Save Money on a Car

  • Look for coupons before you take your car in for maintenance or servicing. Often, you can find deals on oil changes, wheels, and tire rotations. Additionally, look for a mechanic you trust or one who has great reviews, especially if cars are not your strong suit. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for recommendations!
  • Keep a close eye on how fast you’re driving. Not only is it dangerous to speed, but speeding tickets can lead to additional fees.

Buying a car doesn’t need to be a struggle! At Launch CU we believe in easy vehicle loans. If you are in the market for a new or used car, we can help! No matter where you want to go, and how you want to get there, we can help make it happen. With our low vehicle loan rates and flexible terms, we’ll find the payment and term that works for you. Reach out to us today or apply online to get started!

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