Aim Higher With Your Next Upgrade
By Elizabeth Ygartua / 12/07/2018 / Your Car
Are you ready for a third row, heated seats or perhaps more towing capacity? Maybe it’s time to upgrade. Here are three questions you should ask yourself before you start shopping.
- What price is right for your budget?
First things first: It’s important to know what you’re comfortable spending on your new vehicle. If you're considering an upgrade that costs more than your current vehicle, determine how that would impact your monthly payment and overall budget. Our online calculators can help you estimate what you can afford.
Keep in mind: You may be able to get more car for a lower monthly payment if you consider leasing. To see if leasing is right for you, check out our Lease or Buy page.
- What are some of your other car-related expenses?
With a base estimate in hand, factor how much you may spend on gas, insurance, parking and tolls, SiriusXM, OnStar® or a service plan. Accounting for these additional costs will help you gauge just how far you can stretch your car-buying budget.
- What features are on your wish list?
Once you have an estimate on how much car you can afford, start comparing make, model and trim. The Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac websites allow you to build and price before you go to the dealership. To help you prioritize what you want vs. what you need, use the online tools to compare trim levels, paint options, accessories and add-on packages to see how each decision affects the price.
As you weigh your options, consider which features you may be willing to expand your budget on, such as safety packages or Rear Park Assist. In the big picture, these might be worth it for the added peace of mind.
Research offers: The Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac websites have a current offers tab. Check to see what deals are available on your favorite vehicles.
Make your dream a reality
After calculating the expenses and evaluating your budget, remember to apply online for prequalified credit. Your application will go to your preferred dealership, so they know the type of vehicle you’re looking for and can help you close out a deal.
Plan ahead: If you feel like you need a little more wiggle room in your budget before upgrading, here are 8 budget tricks to help you reach your goal faster.