The important things to remember when buying a car are 1. Do your research, 2. Be smart at the dealership, 3. Get pre-approved with your loan, 4. Shop for the best car loan, 5. Look at both new and used cars.
So, you have decided to buy a new car. That is always an exciting time. Whether this is your first time or you are an experienced car owner, there is always something you can learn to make the process a lot easier for you and your wallet.
Do not end up with a car you regret by following these tips on finding the best auto loan rates.
Do your Research before Buying a Car
When you get to the auto lot, you will be distracted by all the bells and whistles a salesperson would put in front of you. They are trained to make you feel you need to buy more than you need. Don’t fall for that common mistake.
Instead, why not go into an auto dealership with an idea of what you want? You can find most details about car models online. You can visit consumer reports or manufacturer websites to get a good idea of what they offer.
When doing your research, make it a goal to find the features you would consider non-negotiable. That could be very subjective and dependent on your situation. Some examples of features that others deem important are:
- Car seating capacity
- Miles per liter
- Complete safety features
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Cargo space
There are so many aspects of a car, from performance to aesthetics. The idea is to find a vehicle with the right features that fit your needs. If you have a large family, a wagon could be a good idea. If you frequently carry plenty of things, an SUV or pickup truck are great options.
Everything boils down to what you need and what car can provide those needs. Armed with that knowledge, you will not get distracted by shiny things a dealership would offer you. Instead, you are focused on finding the right car.
Be Smart at the Dealership
Dealing with a salesperson is like playing chess. You have to play it smart and be patient. That way, you do not seem overeager and make mistakes. If you do, they can play you like a fiddle and you end up with an overpriced car that does not fit your needs.
They would tend to ask you questions like if you are looking to get a loan or trade in a car. Do not give too much information right off the bat. That gives them leverage to work with. It creates a complicated dynamic that they can navigate easily while you get overwhelmed with information.
What you want to do instead is ask for the price of a vehicle you are looking at. Then keep things simple. Discuss things one at a time. If the price they give is too much, move on to a different model.
Once you are settled on a price and car model, discuss the terms one thing at a time. Be vigilant as well with everything they offer you. Ensure that you need it before you tick the box. Add-ons can contribute up to a 300% increase in the total price.
Get a Pre-approved Loan
You would not want to go into a car dealership, fall in love with a model, then find out you cannot afford it or there is a problem with your credit. Before you shop for a car, go and get a pre-approved loan first.
There are many advantages to this. First of all, you unveil any problem with your credit even before committing to a new loan. Another advantage is it gives you a hard ceiling on what you can afford to buy. That also helps in your decision-making on which car to choose.
A pre-approved loan also gives you the advantage of not using dealership financing, which is usually more expensive.
Getting pre-approved allows you to focus most of your energy on finding the right car for you and your family. But that does not mean you should go with just any lender you encounter.
Shop for the Best Car Loan
There is no shortage of lenders in the market. So much so that you can surely find a better deal than the first one you see. Use the internet to look for different lenders and contact them to see what they have to offer.
Get an estimate from several lenders. You can call them, send an email, or visit their office. No matter your approach, do not commit right away. Just let them know you are interested and see what they can do for you.
Once you have a couple of estimates, you can compare them side-by-side. Which gives you the best overall deal? What lender can provide you with terms fit for your financial situation?
The next step is to do your research about the lender. Read testimonials and user reviews to determine how well the company works with its customers. You also do not want to end up with a shady lender. It is best to work with known banks and financial institutions.
Consider Both New and Used Cars
When a car rolls off the lot, the value instantly decreases, even if it is a brand-new car. The depreciation rate on vehicles is very high. With that, you may want to consider used cars.
Price is the biggest advantage of a used car. You can get something almost as good as a brand new one in terms of condition for a fraction of the price.
The challenge is choosing. You need to know what signs to look for to determine if a used car is still good. You can bring a mechanic to check the car before buying it. You will never know if the vehicle has underlying issues, like leaks or engine problems, without doing a thorough inspection.
Buying brand-new is still better in ensuring the quality and longevity of the vehicle. But it does not hurt to widen your options by looking at and researching used cars.
It is easy to get overeager when buying a new car. That could lead you to make all the wrong decisions. You will make mistakes if you do not prepare.
Remember to do your research, know what you want, and stick to the plan to end up with a car you will not regret.
A happy mom, professional article writer, SEO practitioner, blogger, guest blogger & freelancer. She’s been in digital marketing since 2018. She loves reading books and spending time with her family.