When you walk into a car dealership, you may feel like you are entering a whole new world of possibilities. You will be surrounded by many attractive options, not to mention salespeople who will be more than willing to give you a thousand reasons to buy that awesomely impractical sports car. How can you keep your head on your shoulders in the middle of all this? Unless you have an unlimited budget, you may want to consider a few factors before going off to buy your new vehicle. As an informed shopper who is aware of what your spending limit is, you will be far less likely to make an impulse purchase that may later be regrettable.
It’s been about a year since Americans dealt with high ($4+ a gallon) gas prices. Since then, prices of regular gas at the pump have declined and are now averaging around $2.70 per gallon in the U.S. Because of the downward trend, car buyers have started to steer their eyes and wallets towards large trucks and SUV’s again. But is it really time to do that? Realistically, it comes down to a couple of boring yet practical questions: How badly do you need a bigger vehicle, and can you handle the expense if fuel prices rise again?
Setting money aside for potential emergencies is a very important practice for anyone who is interested in protecting their finances and credit reputation. In life, it pays to be prepared, and always having enough cash in your savings to cover the unexpected bill will save you from falling behind in your payment obligations.
Credit cards can be a blessing. They give you the ability to make large purchases without having to prepare a fund in advance, as well as get through emergencies. If a dealership allows you to, you may be able to charge a down payment to a credit card. But, will you be able to afford the monthly credit card payments in addition to the expenses that will come with ownership? That credit card can end up being a curse.
Typically, the IRS doesn’t report tax debt under $10,000 to the credit reporting agencies. If you owe more than that, they will file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien. Once they do this, it will appear on your report and damage your credit.
Different states calculate vehicle registration fees in different ways. Some states will base your fee on how much your car weighs, while others charge a flat rate for all vehicles. And there are several states that take the value of your car into consideration to determine how much you will pay to register the vehicle. Flat fees and weight-based fees are not tax deductible, but if the amount that you pay is based on a Kelley Blue Book value, this fee may be a valid deduction on your federal tax return.
Every state has its own version of a title application. And in most states, you can print a copy of the appropriate application right from the website for your state’s DMV or Secretary of State. However, if your state doesn’t allow this, or you would just rather handle the matter in person, these applications are available at the local branch of your DMV or Secretary of State.