Everyone at our car dealership near Fort Hood, TX knows you have plenty of area auto dealerships to choose from. That’s why we have so many reliable used cars for sale at our convenient location. It’s also the reason why we do our best to be here for all your automotive needs.

One way we try to be here for you is by providing the advice you can act on. One of the best pieces of advice you can get is to make a budget before you start shopping for a vehicle. Too few drivers take the time to do that and it can lead to buyer’s remorse pretty quickly if you end up with an automobile that puts a strain on your finances.

To make a car budget, it’s helpful if you follow some guidelines. The first rule of thumb is to make sure your monthly loan payment isn’t more than 15% of your gross pay. Another way to look at that guideline is to ensure your monthly payment is 20% of your net pay or less.

If you don’t want to purchase gap insurance, you should plan to provide a down payment that’s the equivalent of at least 20% of the vehicle’s purchase price. Ideally, the term of your auto should be a maximum of 48 months.

Some people get nervous by the suggestion that their down payment should be at least 20% of a car’s price, but that shouldn’t worry you. You can trade-in your current vehicle and use the proceeds as your down payment or a portion of it. If that idea appeals to you, use the value trade-in tool on our website to get an idea of what your automobile is worth now.

For more advice about making a car budget, contact McLeod Auto Sales today.