Aside from their home, most Americans will spend more money on their car than on anything else they will buy. And yet, when it comes time to buy that car, most people spend far more time researching the engine, the stereo and the moon roof than they will the finances of the purchase. By failing to do a little homework on the finances, many people end up spending more money for their car, truck or van than they otherwise might.
A little bit of work ahead of time can help you save quite a bit of money on your car purchase. Here are some tips that might help:
Check your credit report – A few months before you decide to buy you should check your credit report for errors. Mistakes on your report could adversely affect your credit score, which will prevent you from obtaining financing at the lowest possible interest rate. While you are checking your credit report, check your credit score, too. That way you can avoid an occasional scam where the salesman tries to trick you into paying a higher rate by falsely claiming that your credit score is too low. You can’t fall for that one if you know your score.
Arrange your financing in advance – While you can sometimes get competitive financing from the dealer, you may do better at your bank, credit union, or online lender. Check with those sources ahead of time to find the best possible deal.
Watch for factory incentives – Sometimes, the manufacturer will offer inexpensive financing. In the past, such deals have gone as low as 0%. If such a deal is available, no bank or credit union will be able to match it, so keep an eye out for such incentives. Cash back bonuses are often available from the manufacturer, too, and those can be applied to your down payment.
Check the pricing – A number of Websites, such as Edmunds.com, offer information on pricing. With that information, you can negotiate the best possible deal.
Ponder the extras – Undercoat? Extended warranty? These are things you may wish to consider before the salesman asks you if you want to buy them. Whether you do or not is your own choice, but you don’t want to get caught with the extra expenses if these are things you do not need.
Buying a car need not be a complicated procedure, but it works best if you know ahead of time how you intend to go about it. The better your preparation, the less harrowing your experience of buying a new car will be.