Everyone wants a brand new reliable vehicle to help them get to work, school or to run errands. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad stories out there of car buyers who ended up getting a bad deal, fell behind on payments because their monthly payments were too high or that couldn’t afford the insurance because of the type of vehicle they purchased. The more you know ahead of time, the less likely you will be to have a bad car buying experience. Here are some tips that will help you to prepare and save money to buy a used car or put money down on a brand new car, as well as tips that will help you know what to look for when you set out to buy a new vehicle.
- What Do You Need? Don’t just go to the dealer and allow yourself to get dazzled by all the new car colors, amazing technology and other bells and whistles that are loaded into the brand new car lines today. Identify your needs – not your wants. Do you need a car that gets great gas mileage because you drive a lot to work or school? Do you need a car that has room for your whole family or just enough space for one or two? Do you need a car that has affordable insurance and comes with a full warranty? Identify the things that you need before you allow yourself to get distracted by what you want.
- New Car or Used Car? Determine early on if you are willing to pay full price for the latest model or if you would be content getting a certified pre-owned or other type of used vehicle? Sometimes just buying a car that is one or two years old with low miles can save you thousands off the sticker price of a brand new car. If you want to save money and have a dealer that you trust to sell you a quality used car, you might want to consider looking into your options.
- Did You Drive It? You might be surprised to find out how many people buy new cars without ever test driving them. Try to drive the car you are interested in as many times and in as many different situations as possible. On the highway, in city traffic, out on the open road – whatever the car dealer will allow. Consider driving in the rain and when it is sunny. In the winter, definitely take a drive in the snow. You will want to know how the vehicle feels in all situations so you will know how it handles year-round – not just for a quick drive around the block in no traffic.
- Did You Research It? Take some time at home away from the car dealer to research the vehicle that you want to buy. Do one of those Car Fax searches to find out if the vehicle has been salvaged, was in an accident or if there have been any other issues reported. Spend time researching the make, model and year of the vehicle as well to find out if there have been any recalls, consumer complaints or issues with this vehicle. Check the Blue Book price to make sure that you are getting a good deal, especially with a used car. The more you know the better equipped you will be to haggle over price and get a good deal.
- How Much Does It Really Cost? Figure out the true cost of owning a brand new or new to you car. Total up the cost of monthly insurance, parking fees, gas expenses, routine maintenance, a down payment and the monthly credit union auto loan payments to make sure that you can afford to buy this car. When you work to save money to buy a car, save as much as you can for the down payment to lower your monthly payments and consider purchasing a pre-paid maintenance contract or repair warranty to cover other costs associated with car ownership.
- How Will You Pay for It? If you worked to save money to buy a car, did you save to pay for it cash outright and save on interest rates and other costs? If you saved simply for the down payment, did you secure a credit union auto loan from St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford? Visit your local branch to find out about loan opportunities available to members with a New Bedford CU account to see if you qualify. Ask about getting pre-approved for a credit union auto loan to streamline the process.
Get Started at St Anne Credit Union
St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford is more than just a great place to deposit your paychecks and put money into your savings account. Our team of customer service agents, financial professionals and loan specialists all work together for the benefit of our members, whether your goal is to save money to buy a new car, put money down on a brand new house or put money into your New Bedford CU account to save for college, we’re here to help.
Members who are interested in purchasing a new car, whether they want to pay for it in cash or see about getting a credit union auto loan, should start by speaking with one of our friendly and helpful agents. We can help you learn more about putting money away into your savings account and growing your money through earned interest or we can help you learn the ins and outs of getting a credit union auto loan.