Military Life Resources Finance

How to buy a car in the military

Jessica Evans Avatar
buy a car

Here’s our latest in our topper series reviewing From Military to Millionaire. It’s common for service members to buy cars at super high-interest rates or buy cars far outside their budget. These are huge mistakes. Spending 10 or 20 percent of your paycheck on monthly car payments is not the way to go.

Buy used and save the difference

New cars depreciate in value pretty quickly, with around a 60 percent depreciation rate in the first five years alone. For this reason, buying a used car between five and 10 years old seems to be where you’ll get the most value for your money. Pickups tend to hold their value the longest, followed by SUVs, and then cars. The cars that are best at holding their value are Toyota and Lexus. When buying a used car, look for ones with low mileage, service records, and reasonable financing, which may not be from the dealership.

You can help your car maintain value by getting it regularly serviced for routine maintenance and keeping the service record. You should also try to keep it clean, inside and out.

Want to know more?

David Pere is an active-duty Marine who is on a mission to educate the military community about financial readiness. Most people hear that term and roll their eyes, but Pere wants everyone to know that readiness can be achieved – without a lot of effort. He teaches personal finance and real estate investing to service members to help increase savings and increase their chances of achieving financial freedom.

Want to learn more about Pere? Check out the Military to Millionaire website, and connect with him on Instagram or Facebook. Subscribe to his YouTube channel here! Take a look at David’s book – The No B.S. Guide to Military Life here.

Looking for more ways you can be financially strong? Check out what’s new on our Mighty Money page.