Other People Are Reading
If you are really strapped for cash, the best way to afford a car is to pay cash for one. While that may seem contradictory, it's not. If you pay cash for a car, you will not have to come up with a down payment and then pay monthly payments. You will be able to have much lower car insurance payments.
To get the cash for a car, you can raise money by selling things. You could have a huge blow-out garage sale! If you're still living at home, ask your parents to contribute some stuff for your car cash-raising extravaganza!
Almost certainly, you will need to save some money in order to afford a car. How much money depends on how much you will be using the car. It is possible to get a car that will work just fine for several years with minimal repairs for $4000. It is good to check with a mechanic or a friend who knows what they're doing before parting with the money, though.
Perhaps you don't want a used car, though. In that case, you need to figure out exactly how much car payment you
can afford. In addition to the car payment, you will need to factor in car insurance payments. For even the least expensive car, together, these can add up to $500 or more. Before you buy a car, check with an insurance company to see how much comprehensive car insurance plus liability will cost you.
If you are set on a new car, but don't have very much money, consider getting a very slightly used car. Cars depreciate immediately once they're driven off the lot, so you can save a few thousand just by buying a car that has, say, 10,000 miles on it. That's close enough to new for most people!
Shop around before you buy a car. You want to find the best deal possible. If you get a used car, you don't want one that you will have to make a lot of repairs on.
Regardless of whether you can afford a new car or a used one, you will need to make a budget in order to keep on affording the car. Your car payment, insurance and repairs should take precedent over entertainment expenses and the like. No one wants a visit from the repo man!