Setting A Used Car Budget

Setting A Used Car Budget

Brought to you by Easterns Automotive of MD and VA

Have decided now is the time to buy a used vehicle? It can be an exciting time, with thoughts of getting that car you have always wanted. But you may also be worried about the financing aspect of buying a car. Will you be able to handle the monthly payments? If you plan things out, determine a budget that works for you, and stick to it, you will be able to enjoy your hard-earned purchase! Here at Easterns we are pleased to offer our customers individual loan packages to meet your specific needs. Our finance team is standing by to walk you through the process. Read on below for some tips on how to set your car budget. 

Steps for Setting Your Used Car Budget

Determine your vehicle needs

Start your process by determining a general type of vehicle that you are searching for. If you are on a tight budget, stick to what your 'needs' are rather than your 'wants'. In the long run, being able to fit your family and all of their things in your car will be more important than getting a smaller vehicle with all the fancy bells and whistles. So consider your daily driving needs. How much passenger space do you need? Do you need a lot of cargo room? Is AWD important to have? The next step is to take a look at the used inventory in your local area. At Easterns, for example, you can sort our inventory by type of vehicle, among other things. Taking a look at the current inventory will give you an idea of the price range you might be looking at.

How much can you afford each month?

While it is important to consider the overall cost of a car, the bottom line is you will be making a certain payment each month. Take a look at your financial situation. How much can you comfortably put towards a vehicle each month?

Do you have a trade-in?


Are you planning on trading in your current car? If so you can get an estimate of how much you will get for it, just give us a call to schedule an appointment! Once you know your approximate trade-in value, you can take that into account.

Consider Other Factors

Beyond a trade-in, you can cut down your monthly payments with an initial down payment. If you have wiggle room in your time-frame to purchase your car, make an attempt to come up with some type of down payment. It might allow you to get a new car, or one with more features, at a monthly payment that still works for you. There are also different terms of car loans, such as loan length. If you would like to discuss your various options, give us a call!

Don't forget about other vehicle-related costs

Don't forget about insurance and registration costs, as well as fuel costs. You can call ahead to your insurance company to get an idea of the payments. If you are purchasing a larger vehicle or truck, and are used to a smaller car gas usage, remember that your fuel costs might go up. 

Do You Qualify for a Car Loan?

Once you have decided it's time to purchase your next vehicle you may be wondering if you even qualify for a car loan? Luckily, Easterns Automotive makes it easy to find out. You can find out if you qualify right from the comfort of your own home. 

  • Apply Quickly With No Obligations
  • Start Your Road to Approval From the Comfort of Your Home
  • Sales Staff Available via Chat, Text or Phone to Help You Through the Process
If you find out you do qualify you may want to consider the general rule for a loan amount that you can handle. Experts recommend that car-buyers follow the 36% rule associated with the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). A person's DTI is the percentage of your monthly gross income that’s used to pay off debts. So, if you follow this rule, it isn’t wise to spend more than 36% of your income on loan payments, including car payments.

Use a Car Payment Calculator

Once you have an idea of the numbers you are looking at, and your goals in terms of your car budget, you can use our handy car payment calculator to work out various situations. With the calculator, you can estimate auto loan terms by adjusting values such as vehicle price, credit rating, APR, down payment amount, and term length.


Finding a Used Car in Maryland or Virginia

Next to buying a house, buying a car is likely one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your lifetime. In other words, you want to get it right. While you may be over-eager to get your 'new' car, truck, or SUV home, it is wise to take the time to consider important factors such as budget and vehicle needs. If you are searching for a used car in the greater Maryland or Virginia area, Easterns auto is the place to go! Our incredible inventory alone will make your whole process easier, as we are sure to have something for everyone. We also offer used car leasing, great trade-in values, and even online car buying! Visit us today. 

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