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Gennady Belyakov
Gennady Belyakov

What Car Can I Buy For 200 A Month

Although the average monthly payment of new vehicles is rising, there are still plenty of lease deals with monthly payments that fall under $200 per month. There are good-value lease deals on sedans, SUVs, and trucks that are available until the end of the month.

what car can i buy for 200 a month

Monthly payments for a lease tend to be lower than the monthly costs associated with purchasing a vehicle. There are plenty of lease deals from top manufacturers each month that have monthly payments under $200.

And as you can see from our picks above, you are likely to be required to make a down payment to get that low monthly payment as well. So just be sure to read the fine print and ask the dealer for the full amount of your monthly payments to get the whole picture.

There's no perfect formula for how much you can afford, but our short answer is that your new-car payment should be no more than 15% of your monthly take-home pay. If you're leasing or buying used, it should be no more than 10%. The reason for finding a vehicle that falls below 10%-15% is that the payment isn't the totality of what you will be spending. You'll need to factor in the costs of fuel and insurance, and many people overlook that. We put those costs at another 7% of your take-home pay. So, all in, you're looking at a total budget that is ideally, no more than 20% of your monthly take-home pay.

While the 10%-15% rule may not work for everyone, it's a good starting point for finding a target price that won't leave you scrambling to pay your bills every month. Here's how you can get a more customized number for yourself.

Take a few minutes to run down what you spend every month. From your monthly take-home pay, deduct rent or mortgage, bills, groceries, child expenses, savings, and spending on entertainment. You will then discover how much car you can afford.

Not sure what kind of vehicles can you buy with this monthly payment (or less)? Take a look at the Edmunds affordability calculator, which lists vehicles that fall into the price range you've predetermined. Keep in mind that the prices on the calculator results page will change based on the trim level, options, sales tax and registration fees, etc.

Does it seem like you might not be able to afford the purchase? We know that feeling. New vehicles have gotten more expensive over the years and our salaries haven't kept up. In any case, this amount now represents your automotive budget, which, as we've noted, is more than just the monthly payment. On to estimating fuel costs and insurance fees.

For insurance quotes, contact your agent or insurance company about the vehicle you're interested in. You should be able to get an accurate estimate. Or go to the auto insurance website of your choice, and there should be an option to get an online quote. Do insurance and fuel costs add up to 7% or less of your monthly paycheck? Then you're OK.

Do you get bored with a car after a few years? Then leasing is your best bet. What good is it to take out a six-year loan if you're going to trade in the vehicle during the fourth or fifth year? You'll likely owe more than the car is worth and will have to roll that balance into the next loan. You'd be better off leasing and paying less per month. Leasing also lets you get a nicer car for less money.

Paying an estimated 20% in income taxes would translate to a monthly income of about $3,148 for a buyer we'll call John. If we follow our 15% rule, John could handle a monthly car payment of up to $472.

In September 2019, the average amount financed for a new vehicle was $32,928, according to Edmunds data. Let's say John bought a new Honda Pilot for that amount. We'll assume he has solid credit and that all aspects of the deal mirror the industry average. John made an 11% down payment, which comes out to about $4,075. The monthly payment will be $542 because John has opted for the most common loan term of 72 months.

What would the payment look like if John were to buy used? For starters, the sticker price would be lower than on a new vehicle, and there would be a lower threshold of credit needed for financing the auto loan. Assuming again that John goes with the averages, the amount financed for the used vehicle John chose would be $22,623. The down payment would be just over 10% ($2,660). The monthly payment would be $416, and it would take about 68 months to pay it off. The used-car loan would have an interest rate roughly 3 percentage points higher than that of a new-car loan. But that's typical for used-car lending.

By buying a used vehicle, John would be spending $676 a month, or about 21% of his monthly take-home pay. On its face, this purchase would seem to be the most cost-effective since John is taking out a smaller loan.

A three-year lease in 2019 had a monthly payment of $465 and an average down payment of $2,646. Keep in mind that these averages are high because many leased cars are luxury models (think BMW, Mercedes-Benz and the like). Since John is not looking for a luxury vehicle, he should be able to find a midsize SUV for roughly $400 a month and about $1,800 down. One major difference, however, is that John would have to limit driving to about 12,000 miles per year, which is a common mileage limit for advertised lease specials. Adding more miles would cost an extra $25 per month, by our estimates.

John's lease payment would be an easier-to-afford $400 per month, or 12.7% of his take-home pay. When we factor in 7% of take-home pay for fuel and insurance costs, John would be spending about $660 per month on this car, which would be about 21% of his monthly income. That's a touch over our recommended 20% for all auto expenses.

In this scenario, John would be paying much less per month to lease than to buy. John would also have a little more in the bank because of the smaller down payment. On the other hand, John would be limited on the number of miles he can drive (without penalty) and would have to start the process over in three years when the lease is up.

In the end, the best car-buying scenario will be one that takes into account your bills and other financial responsibilities. Don't shop for a car at the top of your budget. And if it's a stretch for you to buy now, consider saving up a bit more and revisit shopping at a better time. The most important things are to know your budget and remember that there's more to owning a car than just that monthly payment.

However, you don't have to be a financial contortionist to get yourself into a new car. And, you don't have to settle for a cheap, unappealing ride. Car makers are offering lots of incentives that can translate into a low monthly payment for you.

If that sounds like too much, think about this: If you spend five dollars for your daily Starbucks run every working day of the month, you've already blown about $110. Spend another five dollars on lunch at work every day, and there's another $110. Start brown bagging and making coffee at home (or drinking the stuff brewed at your office) and that $200 car payment becomes affordable.

We found these great cars and great deals by checking out current manufacturer incentives that are available in most of the country. Most are leases simply because you can usually lease a car for a lower monthly payment than buying one. However, leasing means that you'll have a monthly payment for longer, since you won't own the car at the end of the lease and will have to lease or buy another one. The deals are current as of July 2010, but deals and prices can change by month and location. Still, once you know that a $200 monthly car payment is possible, check with dealers in your area to see what deals you can get.

It isn't even 2011 yet and already you can get a 2011 Hyundai Sonata for less than a teenager's cell phone bill. The 2011 Sonata has wowed automotive critics with its long list of standard features, eye-catching looks, fuel-efficient powertrain and impressive warranty coverage. Most car reviewers think the Sonata is a steal at full price, but through August 2, you can lease one for $199 a month for 36 months.

The Nissan Versa not only makes waves for being one of the most affordable cars on the market, it also gets noticed for its surprisingly comfortable interior and loads of cargo space. The Versa wins points for being agile and even a little bit fun to drive, so long as you don't flog it. Right now, Nissan is offering the Versa with zero-percent financing for up to 36 months. Take advantage of that deal, put 10 percent down and you'll drive off in your new Versa for just $250 a month, as long as you act by August 2, when the zero-percent financing offer ends.

Sure, Toyota has had problems lately, and yes, the RAV4 was part of the high-profile accelerator pedal recall. That doesn't change the fact that the RAV4 has long been a leader of the compact SUV class, offering good performance and fuel economy in a roomy interior. Now, Toyota's troubles can be your gain. Depending on what part of the country you live in, a lease on the RAV4 is available for anywhere from $189 to $209 per month for 36 months. The cash due at signing varies by region and ranges anywhere from $1,995 to $2,664, so contact your local Toyota dealer to see what deals are available for you. This deal ends August 2, so you may want to act fast.

While the automotive industry was in turmoil and politicians screamed about bailouts, Chevy quietly went about building better cars. With the Chevrolet Malibu, which was voted North American Car of the Year in 2008, Chevy continues that trend. Reviewers like the Malibu's quiet, comfortable ride and good fuel economy. Car buyers will like that the Malibu LS is currently available for lease for $199 per month for 27 months with $2,674 due at signing. The deal ends September 7, 2010.

The 2010 Mazda3 is a well-loved affordable small car for its sporty performance, so you'll have more to smile about than just the leftover money in your checking account each month. Through August 2, Mazda is offering the 3 with zero-percent financing for up to 60 months, plus $500 cash back. If you put down 10 percent, add in the $500 from Mazda and finance the rest, you can take home a 2010 Mazda3 for about $247 per month. Sure, you may have to give up a few lattes here and there, but commuting in the fun-to-drive 3 should be more than enough to wake you up. 041b061a72


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