For an average car buyer, getting car finance at £350 per month will allow you to buy a car and still have a comfortable lifestyle. The car you choose to buy will have a significant impact not just on your finances but on your personal freedom as well. But how much PCP car finance for £350 per month would a borrower pay in total? This depends on a number of factors like interest rates, how much you paid for the deposit, taxes, and other car-related expenses.
A car is one of the most expensive things you’ll ever buy, apart from your house. But a vehicle is now a necessity, especially if you need it for your job or business. It’s crucial that you don't spend too much of your annual income on a car, to the point that you're struggling with your finances in other areas.
Preparing for the Costs of Owning a Car
When you have a car, you need to be ready to spend on recurring costs. You also have to think about the cost of fuel, maintenance, insurance, taxes, and registration.
Apart from the explicit costs, it’s also important to know the rate of the car’s depreciation. If you plan on selling the car in the future, then you need to know about its value depreciation so that you can make the most out of its resale value.
Before buying a car, assess your monthly and yearly budgets. Evaluate your income and cash flow so you can make more precise calculations on how you’re going to allocate your funds to various car costs. On average, a car owner is going to need about £1,700 annually to run and maintain their vehicles. And this continues to increase as the cost of fuel is rising at the moment!
Why Pay a Downpayment or Deposit?
If you’re still planning to buy a car, you could definitely consider paying a deposit or downpayment. This is a large sum that you’ll pay upfront while the balance is something you can pay through monthly instalments.
Ideally, if you can buy the car with cash, then that’s great because the car will be yours immediately and you don’t have to think about monthly repayments to the car finance company. However, you might end up using all of your savings if you pay with cash. And it's always best to keep some savings aside for unforeseen emergencies!
As mentioned previously, you could pay 20% of the car’s value for the downpayment. For example, if the price of the car is £15,000, your deposit would be £3,000. If you can afford to pay more, all the better. It’s because a more substantial downpayment would mean a lower monthly repayment amount.
Budgeting for Monthly Repayments
Most car buyers opt to get car finance so that the cost of the car is spread over a certain period, at a rate they can regularly sustain. Before you take on any car finance deal, the recommendation is that you look carefully to assess your disposable income, i.e. your net income less your monthly commitments for housing, bills and food and also day to day spending. You should maybe look at allowing around a figure of 10% of your monthly net income for your car loan, but of course that depends on how much you other outgoings are.
Many car finance companies will offer deals with low monthly payments. And a lower monthly repayment is good, right? However, these are usually long-term contracts where you’ll be paying more interest overall. It’s best to go for shorter-term contracts if you possible can, so that you can finish paying everything off more quickly and you won’t have to pay so much in total on interest.
Other Car-related Expenses
The average a car owner in the UK spends around £160 for their car every month. This amount does not include the payment for car financing. Apart from your monthly repayments, it’s important that you also include the cost of running and maintaining a car. Of course, this differs from one car owner to the next so assess how much you’re going to use to run your vehicle.
From the average of £160 on car costs, around 70% is spent on repairs while 25% is allocated for fuel, and then the remaining 5% is spent on other costs such as cleaning and miscellaneous expenses for the car. But bear in mind that the cost of everything is going up these days, at quite a rate.
While it’s important to stick to your budget for your car expenses, you also have to keep in mind that it won’t be practical to cut costs such as for routine inspections. Regular maintenance checkups are crucial in making sure that your car is in top condition. Waiting for your car to break down before you take it to a garage will cost you more, as parts may then be beyond repair and need replacing.
Buying a Second-Hand Vehicle
If you really want to save money on your car purchase, you may consider buying a second-hand car. You can buy it with cash or you can still get car financing, only this time, you won’t have to borrow so much money. There’s a huge difference in the price of a brand new vehicle and a used one. But a used car could look and run just as well as one that’s fresh from the dealership, so it’s worth considering. If you'd really like a new car, but it's just beyond your reach, consider an ex-demonstrator - these are almost new, with little mileage, and consider you won't lose so much with depreciation, and they will be cheaper than a brand new car!
To get car finance at £350 per month, you should think about making a substantial downpayment. Keep in mind that apart from your monthly payments for the car, you also have to factor in other expenses to run and maintain your car. Try not to cut costs when it comes to your car’s maintenance because, as you already know, prevention is better than cure.
If you want to know how much you need to prepare for your monthly car finance payments, check out Carmoola’s car finance calculator. Be sure to use this calculator so you’ll get an estimate of your monthly repayment amount if you decide to get car financing. 👍