Student Survival GuideStudent Survival GuideUniversity of Toronto
January 30, 2012 4:37 PM | By Mark Atkinson for MSN Autos
Twelve tips for buying your first car

How much can you afford?



How much can you afford? (© Photo: Vstock LLC/Tetra images/Getty Images)
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  • A dozen priceless pearls of wisdom to consider before picking up your new keys (© Photo: Scott Heiner/iStock Vectors/Getty Images)
  • It's a big-ticket item (© Photo:)
  • Get your priorities straight (© Photo: Alto/Laurence Mouton/Getty Images)
  • How much can you afford? (© Photo: Vstock LLC/Tetra images/Getty Images)
  • Determine your overall financial health (© Photo: Alto/Laurence Mouton/PhotoAlto Agency RF/Getty Images)
  • Factor in the cost of insurance (© Photo: Stockbyte/Getty Images)
  • Consider your car payment schedule (© Photo: Adam Gault/OJO Images/Getty)
  • Lease vs. finance (© Photo: Don Klumpp/Iconica/Getty Images)
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When it comes to figuring out how much you can spend on a car, be realistic. We know plenty of students get by on ramen noodles and Kraft Dinner to pay for tuition and pub nights, so be honest with yourself. Calculate how much you can actually afford a month, including all those late-night pizza calls and beer runs. And don't forget that your budget amount will have to include things like federal and provincial sales taxes, delivery charges and pre-delivery inspections, air-conditioning taxes (if applicable) and a whole gamut of other fees and charges before you even take possession of your new ride.

To give you an example, a 2012 Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback with no additional options starts at $15,999, but on Ford's consumer site, the calculated manufacturer's suggested retail price of $19,887 "includes Freight, AC Tax and Green Levy (if applicable), Stewardship Ontario Environmental Fee (in Ontario), and applicable government sales taxes but excludes license, fuel fill charge, insurance, PDI, PPSA, administration fees, and any other applicable environmental charges/fees and taxes."

Bing: How much should you budget for a car?

2Comments
Mar 15, 2012 9:45PM
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They state your credit score is not affected by checking your score. That's not entirely true. When shopping for a car you can check your score 7 times in two months and you score will not be affected. The eighth time you will lose 2 pts. If you apply for a credit card or other credit while shopping for a car you score will also go down. Make sure you check both Equifax and Trans Union , because they are always different. Most banks use Equifax.
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