This is a collaborative post.
If you’re expecting your first baby and need to upgrade your car from a small one to a larger family car, with room for the baby and all the gear it needs, then you might be worried about the cost. Here’s how you can budget for your first family car.
Saving and Cost-Cutting
Saving for a car is always difficult, especially when you have a baby on the way. Once you know what your budget is and how much you need to save, you need to stick to it. There a few ways to cut costs when buying your car, including:
- Decide on your priorities. With a baby due, it’s unlikely that you’ll be going out as much as you used to, but you might be making up for that with regular takeaways that are eating into your savings. Cook from scratch to save money that you can put towards your car.
- Make saving automatic. Decide how much you want to put aside every month, and arrange for it to automatically leave your main account and go into your savings account on payday. If the money never hits your account, you’re less likely to accidentally spend it.
- Think about borrowing some of the baby equipment that you need from family and friends. It’s very tempting to spend a small fortune on baby things, but it can really help you to save. Clothes, strollers, cribs, and toys are all fine to use secondhand. The only thing you should never buy second hand is a car seat, as you can’t be sure whether it will fit your car and is safe to use.
The Right Car
You can also make some savings by choosing the right car.
- Buy a used car rather than a new one. It might seem simple but considering that cars depreciate in value quickly, you could save a lot on a car that is at least a year old. Just remember that older can mean less reliable, so you might have more unexpected and expensive repair bills.
- Explore what you can afford. Car prices change all the time, and you might be surprised by the types of cars that are in your budget. While buying a family car should be a sensible choice, that doesn’t mean you can’t choose a car you love. Could a Land Rover be within your budget if you made a few adjustments? Explore different options to help you find a car that has what you want at a price you can afford.
- Leasing isn’t the cheapest way to buy a car, but it does get you a brand new car with all of the state-of-the-art features. It can also be easy to budget for as long as you stay under the agreed mileage limit. Make sure you can afford the monthly payments, which you can work out with a finance calculator.
- Take out a loan. You could borrow money to help you buy the car, or to cover the other costs of preparing for a baby, like home improvement loans to pay for the nursery, leaving budget free for your car.
- Choose the fuel type wisely. Diesel is usually more economical but diesel emissions control isn’t the best for low mileage use. Diesel is the better choice is you drive a lot, especially on the motorway. Check if your city has restrictions or charges on older diesels, then you might be better with choosing petrol, hybrid, or electric if you’ll mostly be driving in the city.