If you want to have the car of your dreams and not spend a fortune, you should read this blog.
San Diego is a place of water, wealth, sun and fun. So why not have the ride you have always wanted?
When you live in San Diego, you start to notice the amount of amazing cars.
I often wonder: how did they snag that vehicle?
It’s not by luck.
…And getting a great car is not just for the rich.
People who are smart and shop carefully, usually end up with the best deals and eventually the car of their dreams.
That car may look very differently from person to person.
Is it an electric car that will save you tons of money on your commute?
Maybe you are looking to purchase your first luxury sedan to head off to work in style.
Or, maybe there is a baby on the way and a safe, reliable van is what you need.
You don’t have to be wealthy to make that dream purchase, you just need to be smarter than the other guy.
San Diego has a vast assortment of car dealerships to choose from. But, your best option may not be at the dealer. Dealerships often come with a higher price tag. So, before you head off to deal with a salesmen, check out some other options.
What goes hand-in-hand with purchasing a car? Purchasing insurance.
This process is simple and can save you money as well. We will go over how to obtain the best cheap car insurance San Diego has to offer. You don’t need to spend more on insurance for it to be better insurance. This is a huge misconception!
You can get a great deal on insurance, be fully covered and not have to dish out endless amounts of your hard-earned money.
There are specific types of insurance that some people need such as SR22 insurance. Don’t hesitate to buy a car just because you have had a DUI.
There are steps you can take to get you back to where you want to be!
Whatever your financial situation, you CAN buy a car.
Let’s get started on the car buying journey…
How can I save money buying a car?
Shop around and take your time! There are millions of helpful resources to choose from.
Here’s a list of a few:
- One that I am sure you have heard of is Craiglist.com. Search around this website for what is out there in your area. You may even have to travel to the next county to really get the deal you are looking for.
- Autotrader.com is another helpful resource where you can search through inventory. Sometimes, when you go to a dealer, they only have a few used cars to choose from.
- If you are looking for a new car, a dealership can come in handy. San Diego has plenty. Here is a list of dealerships to choose from.
- Auto City was rated the best local dealership in 2017 and has a crazy amount of inventory.
- Siry Auto Group has a large inventory of used cars and are located in San Diego and Chula Vista.
- San Diego Auto Connection has been matching cars and people for years and is located at the Auto Circle Auto Mall.
Things to keep in mind while shopping:
- You can take your time. Don’t feel pressured to make a commitment to something unless it is exactly what you want.
- Dealerships have more wiggle-room than you think. They want to make the sale. They also want to finance you because they make money off of that. So don’t accept their first offer.
- Cash will always get you the better deal. If you can come to a private-party with a cash offer, more likely than not, you will walk away on top. Bringing the cash with you will only sweeten the pot. Most people can’t turn away what is right in front of them, especially when it’s money!
- Keep your eye on the goal. I know it is hard to wait, but if you have a specific car or truck in mind, stick to your goals and don’t get hasty. It will turn up.
- On the other hand, if you are in desperate need of a car to get to work and you are in a hurry, have a friend or family member help you in your search. Some of the best deals for cheap, used cars can be found online by searching at home.
- You can also have someone co-sign a car for you, which can help if you have not yet built up your credit.
- Focus on the big picture: you need a car to get you from point A to point B. If your dream car is not a financial reality for you at this time (like buying a Tesla or Maserati as a new college graduate) that’s OK! Keep it as a goal and work your way towards that goal. You will never obtain that car if you can’t get to work with the (less than perfect) car you have now.
Steps To Getting The Car You Need
- Figure out your budget. Your budget may be $5,000. It’s alright! There are cars out there with that price tag.
- Obtain insurance quotes for the kind of car you want/need. Having car insurance in San Diego is a state requirement. Know what to expect.
- Have cash or get approved through a bank for the amount you may want. Be ready to make a deal when you find something you like.
- Figure out a time frame. If you need a car within two weeks, you better start hustling. Good deals are out there but you have to do your research.
- Remember that the initial cost of the car is only the beginning. You will also eventually have to pay for registration, tires, smog, insurance etc…
- Rule of thumb: a car with a loan out on it will need to be fully covered by your insurance company.
Ten keywords you need to know to save on car insurance – a helpful tool for anyone starting the car-buying process.
Thinking Outside The Box
Have you ever thought about leasing a car?
Most people don’t realize the benefits to this option. Yes, there are a couple draw backs depending on how much driving you do.
Here are the facts:
- Leasing a car depends on your credit and how much money you have to put as a down payment.
- You can find amazing lease deals that are advertised for as little as zero down and $99 a month.
- Most leases last 36 months or three years.
- You have to stay at or under the allowed yearly mileage. (most of the time it is 12,000 miles per year)
- You can pay upfront for more mileage.
- You need to have full insurance coverage on any leased vehicle.
- Do you like that brand new car smell? Yes! You get to drive a brand new car with a full warranty! I just leased a 2017 Hyundai Elantra and it still had the plastic wrapping on the back seats (pretty cool).
- You have the option to purchase your lease vehicle after your term is up. They tell you the exact price that vehicle will be after three years before you even lease it.
- Dealerships usually have decent lease options because they have so much new inventory they need to move. Take advantage of this!
- You will have to pay for any extra mileage you put on the vehicle within your lease term (and it’s not cheap).
- You can give the car back after your lease term is up with no strings attached.
What Are The California State Insurance Requirements?
One of the biggest aspects to buying a car is the insurance that you will need to pay for.
You can pay monthly, semi-annually or annually in most cases.
If you have a loan out on your car or lease a vehicle, you will need to be fully covered by an insurance agency.
If you do not have a loan out on your vehicle, you will need the minimum California state requirements.
- Bodily Injury Liability Limits: $30,000 per occurrence/ $15,000 per person.
- Property Damage Liability Limits: $5,000 per occurrence
The above insurance policies will only cover the other party involved in an accident.
For full coverage, most lenders require you to have Collision Coverage which will pay for damages to your own car.
You may also need Comprehensive Coverage which covers theft and other types of damages to the vehicle.
Other great insurance options include: Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Towing.
You may be surprised by the amount of times Uninsured Motorist coverage is needed. There are still people out there who fail to have insurance.
Towing and Roadside Assistance is of course always a smart choice just in case you need a tow.
If you have any questions about these options, an insurance representative should be able to answer any of your questions.
Rule of thumb: It is always better to be over-insured than under-insured.
What Are The Basic Car Loan Requirements?
In general, here are the basic car loan requirements:
- Proof of income. You have to prove that you have a steady flow of income. You can provide pay stubs or bank statements for the last three months.
- Proof of Insurance. You can have this ready the day you head into the dealership or do it from their office even.
- Proof of identity. This usually means you need a photo ID with your signature on it.
- Proof of residence. You need to have a proof of residency so that potential lenders know where to find you in case you stop paying your bills.
- Credit. Usually above a 600 for any sort of loan. Having a 700 or higher is a great place to start.
- Down Payment. This may depend on your credit score, but coming into a dealership with some sort of down payment is a great way to make sure you get the car you want.
- Patience. The car buying process can take time. Whether you are buying new, used, or leasing a vehicle, paperwork takes time. You may also spend half of your day trying cars, haggling the price or talking it over with a spouse. Do your research before you step foot on a dealership.
Last But Not Least…
Last but not least, bring with you humor, patience and a sense of perspective.
Having a good attitude when looking for a car and dealing with professionals will only benefit you.
If you need to bring someone with you to help make you feel more secure, then do so. A friend, an uncle, a spouse or reliable co-worker can be a great idea.
If you don’t find the deal you want or need, you can always try another day.
You DO NOT want to get stuck with a payment you can’t afford or a car you are unhappy with.
You are already more informed now that you were before you read this blog.
Take it and run!
Get started on your car-buying adventure today!