Auto loan calculators: Calculate your car payment
You can use Auto Loan Calculators to help understand how much your car payment might be. These calculators are readily available for free from many sources on the web:
Once you know your down payment and monthly payment amounts, along with a typical interest rate and the number of years you are willing to make car payments (the term of the loan), you can then calculate the price of the automobile you can afford and the loan amount you will need to qualify for. You can find out what the interest rates are by either calling your bank, credit union, or other lending institution – or by inputting numbers into an auto-loan calculator online (see above).
Some other important things to consider
Many people don’t think about other costs associated with purchasing a new vehicle until after they make a purchase. That can make for a real problem if your new car is going to increase the cost of your insurance by $50 or more per month, as an example. Because of this, there are some other costs you should consider, in addition to the vehicle price, before you buy a car:
- Sales Tax
Sales tax is an add-on to what you pay for a vehicle. Note that in many states, sales tax can increase your out-of-pocket cost by 8% to 10% or even more depending on where you live and the type of car you are buying. You want to check out what your sales tax rate is as it can vary from county to county in many states.
- Vehicle Registration Fees
Registration fees can be very expensive depending on the type of car you buy and where you live. They could add a lot more than you think to the cost of your car. Make sure you get an estimate of these fees before you purchase a car.
- Insurance Premiums
Insurance premiums can also hit you hard. Keep in mind that a car that’s worth more than the one you are currently driving will cost more to insure. And different types of cars may significantly increase the cost of insurance. You may want to talk with your insurance agent or take some time to get online insurance quotes to make sure you aren’t going to get into an insurance nightmare and wind up paying $75, $100, $150 or more per month because you made a bad buying decision.
- Warranty Costs
Many people don’t think it’s worth it to pay for a warranty or extended warranty until they’re facing a $2,000 repair bill. Do your homework and seriously consider the warranty – especially on a used car. New cars come with warranties (most are 3-year/36,000 mile) but you can purchase an extended warranty on a new car as well. Buying an extended warranty may or may not be a good idea depending on how long you intend to keep the car.
Also, remember that warranties can (and often do) add to the cost of the financing. When purchasing a car, a warranty can often be included in the financing so it can be included in the monthly payment. That can make a warranty much more affordable than if you purchase it after you have bought your car. So, if you’re one of those people who would rather gamble on not having a problem with the car, consider the cost of one major issue with the engine or transmission; it could really hurt your pocketbook. You might want to save your gambling for Las Vegas!