No matter your flavor – be it Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Land Rover, BMW, or Jaguar – everyone’s got a favorite car. The look, the speed, the comfort…the unmistakable power of the engine are the lifeblood of most car enthusiasts. But let’s be real – nothing compares to owning a simple car that RUNS. The good thing is, after you sell a structured settlement or annuity, you’ll have a lump sum of cash to purchase a vehicle that’ll to get you from point A to point B (it may not be a Benz, but it’ll treat ya right).
The name of the game is to cash in annuity payments or a structured settlement to start off on the right financial foot. You’ll need a good chunk of change in your pocket before the car shopping begins. And then there’s the understanding that buying a new ride on the cheap is absolutely within reach, but with a bit of know-how.
Below, we’ve created a short list of things you can do to get a new or gently used car as cheaply as possible.
1) Get Real on Your Price Point
Who doesn’t want a brand-new luxury vehicle? But how realistic is driving a new Ferrari off the lot when there are other financial obligations to take care of? Your best bet is to see what you can afford and go from there. The condition of the car, reliability, and gas mileage are super-important factors when choosing your next ride. Knowing your finances and what the most reliable brands are will benefit you more than you realize. Keeping true to a budget will prevent overspending. And being smart about the vehicle’s specs and capabilities might save you trips to the shop down the road.
2) Lean on Your Mechanic
Good friends are hard to come by. Same goes for old mechanics; these are the guys who know their clientele and know. their. cars. They’re consistently interacting with car owners and over time, they get to learn cars’ service history. And they’re frequently the first ones to learn about well-maintained cars for sale! Use this to your advantage. Ask your mechanic to let you know if they come across an inexpensive car for sale that’s had minimal issues, if any at all.
3) Go Beyond Negotiation
The usual par for the course in buying a car is to visit your friendly neighborhood dealership, and after negotiating with the salesman, agreeing on a price. In the search for a cheap reliable car, knowing that car dealerships are profit-focused (…and, what business isn’t?), you might get quotes from a few dealerships. Have them participate in a friendly competition to win your business. Also, have a budget in mind and ensure your dealer works to meet your terms.
4) Try the Auction
Local auctions are widespread and if you’re lucky, can offer great cars at decent prices.
Many car auctions are only available to licensed car dealers, but you can search online for the best, most popular auctions that are open to the public. Keep in mind that most auctions feature cars that have come from municipal impound lots or feature cars that have been towed, abandoned, or seized. But there might be vehicles available that are unscathed and affordable. It never hurts to try your luck. Selling your structured settlement gives you the freedom to be choosy. If you notice that the auctioneer has bought the car low and is selling high, you can move onto the next car, or a different auction altogether.
5) Look for Independent Sellers
You’ve seen them around town – people driving cars with spray-painted pricing on the back windows. The cars may have 150,000 miles on them…but sometimes, they don’t! It never hurts to call the phone number to get the full scope of how the car runs, what the gas mileage is, if the car has been in any accidents. You’d also want to take it for a test drive. Depending on the brand and mileage, used cars purchased from ordinary owners can prove very reliable. Just be sure to check the vehicle’s history.
With a lump sum from the sale of your structured settlement, and a new level of car-buying savvy, buying a new ride on the cheap is easy. A reliable car can mean getting to work without the hassles of public transportation. It also encourages independence and even exploration. So after receiving your lump sum, feel empowered to purchase a new vehicle. Show everyone that you’re now on the move.