About a month ago I was in a car accident which, unfortunately, totaled my Toyota Camry. I'll spare you the details and just say, I was not at fault. I was devastated, I loved that car!
Now that I'm in the process of shopping for a new vehicle I thought I'd share some car buying tips with you.
Determine what you can afford. Use our convenient online payment calculators to figure out how much you can realistically afford to spend.
Get pre-approved. Taking the extra step of contacting the Credit Union to arrange financing can give you more buying power at the dealership and more control over your financing terms. Plus, it's a great way to avoid multiple inquires on your credit report.
Research the vehicle. What will it cost you in gas? How reliable is it? Pick up a recent issue of Consumer Reports or just do a little Googling.
Research the Price. Find out what the vehicle is worth before you negotiate the purchase of the vehicle. Check the National Automobile Dealers Association's (NADA) Guides, Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book. It may help you get a better price from the dealer.
Research the dealer. Find out which dealers in your area have the best reputation for working with customers to get them the best deal. Read online reviews and use social networking to ask friends and acquaintances about their experiences.
Protect your investment. Contact your insurance agent before purchasing a new vehicle to check that the cost of insuring the new vehicle is also within your budget. And, consider adding GAP insurance (available through Collins Community CU) to your loan to protect your investment. If your car is totaled at any time during the length of your loan the GAP insurance will pay the difference between what your car is worth and what you owe on it.*
Do you have any car buying tips you'd like to share? Tell us in the comments below.
*some restrictions may apply