Buying a car can be an overwhelming process for many people. With so many places to buy and financing options available, how can you ensure you’ll find the car you want at a fair price? To follow are a few tips to keep in mind when you begin your car shopping experience.
- Save time and do your homework. The Internet is a fantastic place to start researching cars. With many independent auto information websites at your fingertips, you can understand a particular car’s true value, as well as see what other people have recently paid for similar makes and models so you know if the price of the car you’re eyeing is within a fair range. Make sure you understand what you are buying in terms of safety options, fuel efficiency and features.
- Know what you can afford before you shop. Plan ahead by getting pre-approved for your auto loan at Memorial Health. That way you’ll know exactly how much car you can afford and what your estimated payment schedule will be before you shop! According to bankrate.com, a good rule of thumb is that a household’s vehicle budget shouldn’t exceed 20% of your household income. This budget should include any loan payments, insurance fees, fuel costs and maintenance expenses for all vehicles in the household.
- Understand your trade-in value. If you plan to trade in your current vehicle, take some time to research it online so you have an idea of its accurate value.
- Don’t forget the coupons! Many car manufacturers will offer rebates and cash back incentive programs on new or used cars. Others offer additional specials such as student and military discounts. You can research these incentive programs online at the manufacturer and dealership websites to ensure you save every penny you can.
- Get the most from the test drive. Don’t fall in love with a particular model and its features without testing them out. Many vehicles look great on paper but the test drive is your chance to see how it performs, if it can accommodate your family, how the features work, if it has ample cargo room for your needs and much more. Narrow your search in your research phase and then test drive all of the makes and models in your final list so you can compare and contrast the experiences and find the right car for you.
- Know when to buy. Don’t wait until your current car takes its last breath and you’re forced to find another at the last minute, as you might suffer the time you need to do your homework and end up paying more than you need to because you’re in a pinch. Instead, do your research, test drive your cars, find what you want, and then wait until the month’s end which is the best time to buy a car as dealerships are trying to push last minute sales to improve their monthly volume numbers.
- Review the deal and take delivery. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure to review the deal completely and take into consideration all of the additional costs including sales tax, license plate fees, document fees and registration. Once you’re 100% satisfied, then take delivery and enjoy your new ride!
For more information on Memorial Health CU’s auto loans, or to apply today, click here.