back to articles | March 09, 2023 | Moses Mwangi

Categories: Tips & Insights For Car Buying

How to Start Saving for A Car

A car is an important means of transport when moving around, either to work, school, or shopping. It is also an important financial investment that requires you to make a proper budgeting plan.


A car is an important means of transport when moving around, either to work, school, or shopping. It is also an important financial investment that requires you to make a proper budgeting plan. Whether you are planning to purchase a new or a used car, saving is an essential step to ensuring that you do not fall into unnecessary debts and that you achieve your goal of getting your dream car. Here are some steps you can take to start saving for a car.

Consider the type of car to purchase

To formulate a proper car savings plan, you have to know the type of car you intend to buy. Identifying the type of car you wish to buy helps you get familiar with the price of the car and the additional expenses that may arise during the purchase. Some of the important factors to consider when choosing your car type are; the size of the car, the year of manufacture, features, mileage, model of the car, and the purpose of buying the car, whether for transportation of goods or personal use and lastly, whether you will be buying a new or a used car.

Determine your budget

You must outline a proper budget for a car in order to save for it. The first step is to determine your budget by ensuring that you are able to identify the level of your income, expenses, and sources of income. This will help you develop a proper savings plan that aligns with the amount of money you can save monthly.

Set a savings goal

Once you create a concise budget, you can proceed to set a savings goal. The goal should outline an achievable amount. It might be easier for you to achieve this with a proper plan. Breaking down the amount into smaller amounts payable either weekly or monthly is a helpful way of ensuring that you consistently work towards achieving the goal.

Estimate Your Down Payment

Once you are sure of the type of car you intend to buy, you can estimate the down payment you will be required to pay to the dealership to get started. Knowing your down payment will help you pay for the car in convenient batches. Also, in some cases, paying a down payment paves the way for you to access an auto loan if you want to buy the car urgently. You need to understand that different dealerships accept different percentages of the down payment, so shopping around helps you identify what is friendly to you. Note that the lower your down payment, the higher the monthly payments.

Consider the additional expenses

It may be very frustrating for you to save for a car only to realize the amount saved will not be enough for everything. You must note down the expenses excluded from the actual car price. Insurance, car registration, licensing, daily operating costs, and regular car servicing expenses are some of the costs you should consider when saving for a car. Budget for such expenses too.

Maintain a good credit score

When saving for a car, ensure you maintain the minimum credit score. A good credit score can help you get considered for alternative car financing sources such as car loans. In cases where you also want to lease a car to minimize the cost of buying a new one, your credit score will be considered. To maintain a clean credit score, ensure that you meet your bill deadlines, avoid opening numerous credit accounts, correct any credit errors in your accounts and also minimize your credit utilization.

Start a dedicated savings account

Another essential step is to ensure you open a separate savings account purposely for you to deposit your car savings. This will help you separate the car savings from other funds and thus reduce the temptations of spending the savings on other things. A dedicated savings account also helps you track your savings progress.

Automate your savings account

You can always arrange with your bank or employer to automate your account. This way, automatic transfers can be made to your account. This will help you keep a routine savings plan and also save you the frustration that comes with forgetting to honor your set monthly payments.

Limit your spending

Buying a car is a major financial decision that requires substantial discipline. To achieve the required amount for your car savings, you must get rid of unnecessary spending and redirect such money to your savings account. For example, you can decide to cut down on money used for groceries and snacks.

Sell or trade-in

In cases where you are saving to upgrade your current car, reselling or trading in may help you maximize your savings. You might decide to sell the car on your own, which is likely to get you more money than involving a dealership. Trading in the car is also an option that may give you extra cash for your next car. To do this, ensure that your estimate the value of your current car and see the amount it is likely to give you for the purchase of your next car.

Consider having a side hustle

Cars are expensive, and when saving for one, you need to look for other ways to earn extra money. This will help accelerate the savings progress. A side job may come in handy but ensure it is convenient for you before starting. Some of the best side hustle ideas include tutoring online, reselling thrifted items, and delivering groceries.

Consider alternative sources of funding

Saving is just one of the ways to achieve your goal of buying a car. However, it is also important for you to check out other sources of funds, especially when saving might take too long or when buying a car is a pressing need. Such financing options include getting car loans or selling some of your property to achieve the goal faster.

Use images of your dream car

To motivate yourself, you can set the picture of your dream car as your desktop or phone wallpaper. This will be a constant reminder of what you are saving for and motivate you to spend money wisely to achieve your dream.

Learn proper negotiation skills

Ensure you carry out proper research before buying a car. This will help you identify potential dealerships selling the car of your choice. These dealerships are likely to be selling the car at different prices, and therefore this will give you a hint of the average amount you are likely to spend on your car. When visiting the dealership of your choice, ensure you stand your ground when negotiating the price in order to avoid paying a higher amount for a car that would cost less. This will also enable you to obtain better rates for yourself.

Bottom line

It would be best to prepare properly before buying a car since it is a huge financial decision and investment. The steps you take before and during saving for the car will affect how you achieve the goal. Remember to incorporate everything required for the car in your budget to avoid inconveniences. Most importantly, learn the most convenient saving method for you. You can either decide to limit your expenses or maximize your earnings.