While most people will head straight to the local car lot to purchase a brand new vehicle, one of the smartest financial moves that you can make is to consider buying used. The cost of a vehicle that is just a year or two old will be much less than a brand new car that just rolled off the assembly line. The cost for insurance to protect your investment will also cost less than a brand new car, saving you a great deal of money over the lifetime of your vehicle ownership.
Making a Good Deal
One of the reasons why some people avoid being used is because they are afraid of being “taken” by a bad deal. Cars that are water damaged by floods or otherwise not in good repair, can often look good at first glance. Fortunately, there are a lot of tools available now, such as car history look-up services and certified used car sales, that can put some well-deserved power back in the hands of the consumer.
In recent years, auto makers have worked hard to make major safety improvements and use materials that increase the durability of their vehicles. As a result, used cars that are even three, four or more years old, retain a lot of their value. When purchasing a used vehicle, make sure to do your homework. Check the Blue Book price, ratings on the vehicle, read reviews and make sure to purchase your car from a reputable dealer.
Working with St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford can help you make sure you are getting a good deal. When you apply for a credit union auto loan, you can become “pre-approved” and take it with you as you shop for a new car. Saving money for a down payment in your Share Savings Account or other type of New Bedford CU account, can also reduce the risk for the loan, providing you with lower payments, better interest rates and shorter terms.
Tips to Avoid Buying a Lemon
There is always the risk that you might be “buying someone else’s problem” when you purchase a used car, however there are also risks when purchasing brand new. Taking the time to do some work ahead of going to the car lot and working with your representative at the local St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford, can help. Here are five tips that will help to protect you when it comes time to finalize that used car purchase:
#1 – Get the BEST Loan
Speak with your customer services representative at St Anne about getting a credit union auto loan to avoid getting pulled into one of those “dealer loans,” which can have interest rates and terms that are notoriously higher. Take advantage of one of the biggest perks of joining a credit union membership and speak with someone at your local branch about getting a loan with your New Bedford CU account.
#2 – Consider CPO Vehicles
A CPO Vehicle is an industry term, which means “Certified Pre-Owned”. You will also often see the term “certified used”, which means the same thing. These cars that are sold by new car dealerships that carry the major auto brands, are required to be tested, inspected and checked out before they can be sold to a new customer. In many cases, they will also have less miles and issues with body damage, with some even coming with a warranty. Policies can vary from dealer to dealer, so make sure to find out all you can about the dealerships CPO options before you buy, rather than assuming what is provided and included.
#3 – Reputation is Key
The reputation of the make and model of the vehicle you want to buy is important, but so is the reputation of the dealership. When you buy local, chances are that you know someone who has purchased a car or shopped at the dealership. Before you buy, talk with friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and anyone else that will listen, about the dealership that you are considering. It is likely that you will always hear a mix of positive and negative comments, but you will want to weigh the ratio of good and bad, as well as consider any major stories that stick out from the crowd.
#4 – Check Out the Vehicle
As we discussed already, it is important to take your time to research the vehicle you are thinking about buying. Check the consumer ratings, re-sale value, look for any recalls or other possible problems that could impact the safety, durability or all-around value of the vehicle. Look for features that will improve safety, increase usefulness and provide you and your family with the options that you require in a new-to-you vehicle. Look up the safety tests performed by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and check the ratings for the year, make and model of the vehicle on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website.
#5 – Vehicle History
Once you have decided on the type of vehicle you want and have found a used car at a local lot that you trust, take time to check out the history of the vehicle. Popular services, such as CarFax and AutoCheck can be helpful, but they are not 100 percent accurate all the time. Use the VIN number to check out past registrations, locations, accidents, title issues and more. You don’t want to find out that your vehicle was considered totaled or flood damaged after you purchased it and start having problems – these are things you need to know up-front.
Get a Credit Union Auto Loan at St Anne
If you are in the market to buy a new or used car in Southeastern Massachusetts, contact St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford to find out more about our auto loan options. St Anne Credit Union does not require a down payment on used auto loans, for vehicles that are 2004 or newer. Our terms can range between two and five years for a credit union auto loan, depending on the model year. All you need to do to apply for an auto loan at our local credit union, is to have a New Bedford CU account. You can become a member of St Anne Credit Union by opening a Share Savings account if you work or live in Bristol or Plymouth Counties. For more information, visit our website or give us a call at 508-993-0011.