Energy efficient vehicles are an excellent option for today’s buyers. For one thing, they can help you to save money on fueling costs by allowing you to get more use out of each tank of gas.
In fact, some models don’t even use gas at all. Furthermore, because these vehicles use less gas or no gas at all, they are better for the environment and cut back on harmful emissions.
The only real downside to high efficiency cars is the fact that they can be somewhat costly, at least upfront. While, in the long-term, they will save owners money, they do require a large initial investment, and the payments can be higher than they would be with a less efficient car.
The high price tag leaves many people wondering if high efficiency cars can be owned by middle income or average earners. The answer is yes, as long as the buyer can get a reasonable loan and take other steps to make owning this type of vehicle affordable.
1] Know Your Budget
First of all, before you start shopping for fuel efficient cars or any cars, you need to get a good handle on your budget and how much you can afford in terms of a car payment.
So, sit down with your financial information. Determine how much you need for bills each month, how much you have left over, and how much of that you could reasonably sacrifice towards a car payment.
Once you have this information, it’s much easier to work with a lender or car dealer. You’ll be prepared and able to be honest about how much of a payment you can afford. Often, lenders will work within your budget limits, especially if you’re willing to make a higher down payment.
If you can’t come to an agreement that works for your budget, you may have to settle for a non-energy efficient vehicle. But, even that is better than entering into a payment agreement that you can’t meet.
2] Compare Interest Rates
As you shop around for eco-friendly vehicles, remember that it’s not just the price of the cars you have to consider. If you finance your vehicle, you will also have to pay the interest rate, which can be quite high, especially if your credit isn’t great.
The interest rate can affect both the total cost you’ll pay and your monthly payments. So, ultimately, it could mean the difference between being able to afford a high efficiency car and not being able to.
The good news is that different dealers and lenders offer highly varied interest rates. So, if you take the time to shop around and compare interest rates, you can easily find a good deal that will allow you to afford the car you really want.
If you’ve been all over town and still can’t get a reasonable interest rate, then you may need to devote some time to cleaning up your credit before you attempt to finance a vehicle. Generally, the better your credit score, the lower your interest rate.
3] Factor in Gas Savings
One final thing to keep in mind is that, with an energy efficient vehicle, you will be saving money on gas or, in the case of electric cars, not paying for gas at all. This can add more money- a lot more than you think- to your budget each month.
So, when you’re figuring out what you can afford, be sure to subtract from your gas costs. If your new vehicle will still use some gas, you can do some quick research to determine about how much less gas you’ll use than you normally do.
Even though it might be tight, the money you’re not spending on gas could enable you to afford the new car of your dreams!
4] Go for It!
Once you’ve read and carefully considered this information, you should have a better idea of whether or not you can afford an energy efficient vehicle.
If it turns out that you can, then go for it! You’ll be doing yourself and the planet a favor in the process.