Car Buying Made Easier

Car buying made easier

Choose a topic below to learn more.

Be a Smart Shopper

If you want the best deal on your next vehicle, here’s one tip that could really help — Do your research! Putting in a bit of time before you start shopping could save you a great deal of hassle and money. Whether you choose new or used, it’s important to figure out which car and features are going to best serve your needs. Be sure to look into safety ratings and reliable reviews to help you explore make and model comparisons.

Pricing can vary greatly on used vehicles. Looking into fair market value based on age, mileage and condition can be done online through various websites. If you’re looking to buy a new car, it’s also important to consider the vehicle’s long-term value. Some brands retain their value over time better than others. Be sure to check several different dealerships and seek out the ones with a good reputation for customer service. By taking steps ahead of your actual purchase, you can be better prepared to avoid an impulsive mistake. Here are more resources to help you:

Money Crashers – How to Buy a Car

Edmunds – Top Shopping Tips from a Former Car Salesman

Kelley Blue Book

Budgeting a car payment

Before buying a car, it’s necessary to determine how to pay for it. If you’re like many people, you’ll end up taking out a loan and making monthly payments for a set amount of time. The first step is to determine what you can afford. Examine your monthly expenses and determine the maximum car payment you can make. Once you have that number, ask yourself how long you’d like to be paying for a car. Car loan terms usually run from 36 months to 84 months, and the longer your loan term, the more you will pay in interest over the life of the loan.

Other costs you must factor into your budget include registration, insurance and maintenance of the vehicle. Once you’ve determined what you can afford, look only for cars that don’t exceed your price point. You still may have to haggle, but at least you have your bottom-line number and know what will fit into your financial status quo. Be sure to check out the following links for helpful budgeting tips:

CNN Money – Determining Your Car Budget

Nerdwallet – Car Loan Calculator

Edmunds – How Long Should My Car Loan Be?

DMV – Auto Loan Terms

Car financing

It’s beneficial to check out your financing options before you even step foot in a dealership. You should shop around for a loan, just like you would shop around for your car. Banks, credit unions and online financial services companies can all give you an idea of rates and terms you are eligible for, so you have that insight before negotiations begin.

It’s also important to know your credit score and how that will translate to an interest rate on a car loan. The dealership will let you know what options they have available to you through their financing partners, largely based on your credit score, and then you can decide which terms are most acceptable. Make sure all fees are disclosed and understood before you agree to any financing arrangement. To help you understand your financing options, click the links below:

FTC – Understanding Vehicle Financing

Nerdwallet – Best Car Loans for Good, Fair and Bad Credit

Edmunds – Seven Things to Know about Car Loan Credit Reports