In recent years automotive manufacturers have made it easier and easier to buy a new vehicle. Offering no interest and low interest leases and financing with no money down , IF you buy a new vehicle. Some will even offer new vehicle financing as long as 84 months (7 years) all to make the payment, one that you can afford to pay monthly, so that you buy.
Taking advantage of these offers can make excellent financial sense if you have thought through your personal financial situation and reviewed both your short and long term financial goals.
It is common knowledge that as soon as you drive a new vehicle off of the lot it depreciates in value by 30%-35%. So paying cash for a new vehicle is never a wise investment because of the immediate depreciation of the asset. You are better off to buy an almost new, used vehicle. Dealers often have demo vehicles or one year lease returns that have very low kilometers and are almost brand new at fraction of the cost of a new vehicle.
The same is true with financing a new vehicle. As soon as you drive a new vehicle off of the lot it depreciates in value by 30%-35. So if you finance, as soon as you drive off the lot you will owe over 30%-35% more than what your new vehicle is worth. They don’t make vehicles like they used to and automotive trends indicate that more people trade in and up in vehicle every 4-5 years.
Financing a vehicle is a real commitment. Before arriving at the dealership it is prudent to research what kind of vehicle you want to purchase. Don’t just look at the sale price of the vehicle. Estimate what it would cost to drive the vehicle off of the lot. Take the vehicle price, add $500 for any extras you may purchase (like extended warranties), add $200 for an admin charge, add freight of $1,000 (if you are buying a new vehicle), then multiply the total by 13% (tax) and add that to the total.
Many bank and car loan companies have free online loan and mortgage calculators. Input the total amount that you want to finance, select a (60month) 5 year term and amortization and interest rate of 8%. Look at what your payment would be. If the payment is too high you have two options. 1. You could consider a more affordable vehicle 2. Use the financial calculator to determine how much of a down payment you will need to reduce the vehicle payment to one you can afford. An 84 month loan term is unadvisable.
We recommend that prior to considering financing or leasing a vehicle that you obtain your Financial Report Card from True Assess to find out how lenders grade the state of your entire financial profile. This will give you more leverage when negotiating the financing of a big ticket purchase, such as a vehicle.
Also many new car dealerships have used lots. In Toronto, West Toronto Kia offers all kind of great deals on new and used vehicles. We always recommend that that you purchase a used vehicle from a dealer vs. private person. In the unfortunate instance that you have a problem with the vehicle you can return to the dealer for assistance.
Leases can be dangerous. It’s funny because I say that and I drive a leased vehicle! Most leasing companies offer leases that set the maximum kms at 20,000kms – 24,000kms per year. If you drive more kms than what is permitted in your lease many leasing companies will charge 10cents – 15cents for each kilometer you drive over the permitted allowance. Be realistic, if you will be driving more than 20,000kms – 24,000kms per/year a lease may not make sense because you could owe thousands in mileage at the end of your lease.
Now if you are self employed or are paid by your employer for your mileage a lease can make excellent financial sense. A leased vehicle if used for business can be written off your tax return either partially or entirely (depending on how much of the time it was used for business). You can also change your vehicle for a brand new one every 4 years.
At the end of your lease, you need to make a decision to pay out the remainder owing on the lease or return the vehicle. Either way, maintaining good credit will be key to ensure you have options at the end of your lease.
Buying a new vehicle can be exciting. Once you enter a dealership the sales people will feed off of this excitement. You must plan and make level headed decisions. The purchase of a vehicle is a major financial decision and should not be taken lightly.