A lot of decision-making goes into buying a car, but you can spend less time on the lot by planning ahead. To help streamline your car buying experience, we’ve put together a list of a few key things you should know before buying your next car.
1. Do Your Homework. Feel confident when you arrive at the dealership by taking the time to plan for this big purchase. Look at your budget and decide how much of a monthly car payment you can afford. Your budget may be able to stretch to take on a bigger car payment, but can you still reach the other financial goals that are important to you? Don’t forget, getting a new car is about more than just the monthly payment, you also need to consider additional expenses like insurance, extended service contracts, and maintenance.
2. Research Financing Options.
- Finance at the credit union. This is considered the best option for most car buyers, as it allows you to compare interest rates between lenders and go with a financial institution that you trust. Oftentimes, you can also get lower rates when you finance directly through a financial institution (like Alltru!). You’ll be able to walk into the dealership with the confidence that you are pre-approved and can purchase the car you want with ease.
- Finance at the dealership. We know that many people would prefer to make one stop and finance their new car at the dealership. We get it! If that’s what works best for you then you are in luck because we also partner with many local St. Louis auto dealerships. All you have to do is ask for Alltru Credit Union when it’s time to work out your financing!
3. Consider Insurance. You may know how much you can afford and the kind of car you want, but how much will the insurance cost? Connect with a car insurance company prior to purchase and evaluate how those costs will impact your budget. If the car you want to buy comes with high insurance premiums, it may impact your choice.
4. Question the Fees. Make sure you fully understand all of the costs that you are paying for when you buy a new car. Service warranties with free oil changes and simple repairs might sound great at the time, but run the numbers see if it makes sense for you. How much will small repairs on your car cost? It’s possible that the repairs may be cheaper than the extended warranty cost. Your lender may also offer a warranty package without the dealership fees. It’s worth the inquiry.
5. Don’t Feel Pressured. Be prepared to walk away. Sometimes the car you think you want just isn’t the right fit or maybe it’s just bad timing. Don’t feel pressured to get into a car if it’s not right for you. Be patient and you’ll find the car you want in the price range that fits your budget.
You are on the right path! With a just little prep work, you’ll be on your way to having a great car buying experience. Happy car buying!
Until next time,