Financial February: budgeting tips

| Consumer bulletins

February is the month for falling in love! Before you fall in love with your next vehicle, AMVIC wants you to keep in mind the financial costs of buying and owning a vehicle.

After you know what kind of vehicle you are looking for, set a reasonable budget by looking at the total price of the vehicle.

Low monthly payments may seem affordable, but you could end up paying more than you realize for the vehicle due to interest expenses with long term loans of seven or even eight years. Is a low monthly payment with a longer term and therefore a higher total cost worth it? You also may want to replace the vehicle before the current loan is paid in full.

Many consumers think they can afford a vehicle because they can afford the payments. But are the payments monthly or bi-weekly? $200 every two weeks may seem affordable, but can your wallet handle it when it is actually $400 a month?

Be sure to include in your budget the insurance and maintenance costs of the vehicle. Additionally, decide if you want aftermarket options such as protection packages, extended warranties, life insurance and security etching.

Understand your consumer rights by visiting amvic.org.

Read the previous Financial February bulletins: