Great news! You’re getting a tax refund, and you’re dreaming of all the ways you can spend it: On a new spring wardrobe, on a trip, on a new gadget… or on your car. A recent poll suggested that as many as a third of American taxpayers intend to use at least part of their refund to repair, or to purchase a new car. We think this is a great idea.
With the average refund this year projected to be around $3,000, what auto allocations make sense? Here are a few good choices depending on the size of your refund:
Buy new tires.
Winter did a number on your tires; the worn-out tread is making it difficult for your tires to grip the road — especially when the pavement is wet — and poor alignment often leaves you feeling like you’re floating all over the road. Now, while you’ve got a little extra jingle in your pocket, is the time to replace and re-align your tires.
Put a down payment on a new car.
You’ve been thinking for a while it might be time for a new car. When you trade in your old car, and can place a hefty sum of cash down too, you’ll be in a good place to get the car you want, at a price point you want, and with the loan terms you want.
Get a tune-up, or catch up on much needed maintenance.
Neglecting vehicles costs the economy over $2 billion each year. Using some, or all of your tax refund toward maintenance or minor repairs you’ve been putting off or ignoring altogether is the best idea of all. Concentrate especially on safety-related repairs (like brake service) or factory-recommended maintenance services that focus on such important components as your transmission or exhaust system. 28% of the Americans believe they are most affected by air pollution caused by vehicles, so make sure your car’s exhaust system is running efficiently and not causing unnecessary damage to our air.
Don’t ignore that check engine light any longer.
Spend your tax return wisely: On your car.