Stay In Control When Searching For A Vehicle
Buying a new or used vehicle is a huge financial transaction. You’ll need to be prepared to enter your search with a clear head and resist the temptation to let emotions control your decisions. Yes, the color and upgrades are amazing, but what will it cost you in the long run?
Staying in control likely will keep you from spending too much money at a car dealership or used-car lot.
Starting Your Search
- Determine what you want in a car.
- Determine what you can afford and what a loan will cost you.
- Learn where to find reliability ratings and current retail values on the vehicle you're interested in, prior ro arriving. (Resources include Consumer Reports and Edmunds.)
- Prepare to negotiate price.
- Consider the total cost of car ownership with monthly payments, operating and maintenance expenses.
Your best deals on a vehicle likely can be found from private sellers, but make sure you get a mechanic’s inspection before you buy. Dealerships often certify their vehicles, but you can expect to spend more.
Tips When Buying From Individual Or Used Car Lot
- Insist that vehicle have a clear title
- Insist that vehicle pass your mechanic’s inspection before you purchase
- Use problems your mechanic finds to renegotiate the selling price
Tips When Buying From A Dealership
- Consider the timing of your purchase. The end of the year is the best time to get a good deal, because the year is ending and dealerships are more likely to haggle to clear the lot for new inventory.
- Ensure the title is clear, ask for maintenance records and a vehicle history report.
- Set a target price and an upper limit, but be prepared to walk away from anything higher.
- Keep your trade-in transaction separate to track the true price of each transaction.
- Resist financing through the dealership. Better deals on loans likely are available from PrimeWay Federal Credit Union.
- Before purchasing an extended warranty, see if any part of the car is still covered by the original warranty.
- If you’re interested in a warranty, read the contract and determine length of coverage, where servicing is done and exactly what is covered.
- Recognize that extended warranties are a profit center at some dealerships.
To further help with your search for a reliable and affordable vehicle, visit PrimeWay Federal Credit Union’s Auto Center today. You can also use these PrimeWay Federal Credit Union calculators to find out how much car you can can afford and whether you should lease or buy your next vehicle.