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Car Buying Tips and Best Practices

Mar 07, 2022

Buying a new or used car can be stressful, but there are steps you can take to simplify the process, before you head to a dealership!

Determine Your Budget

 Look at your finances, and determine what you can afford to spend on a new or used vehicle. Be sure to factor in other costs associated with this purchase, and find the answers to the following questions:

 -What can I afford for a down payment, and monthly loan payments?

-How much will insurance cost on the vehicle I am interested in each month?

-How much money will I need to register my vehicle?

-How much can I afford to spend on gas, and what are the miles per gallon (MPG) on the car I am interested in?

-What is the average I will be paying on maintenance and repairs each year? (tires, oil changes, new parts, etc.)

Get Preapproved

Speaking with your trusted financial institution before heading to the dealership, will help you further understand your budget, and what you qualify for. We can help you find the answers to some of the questions above, so there won’t be any surprises. You can discuss options on additional insurance coverage and vehicle service contracts, and decide if they are right for you and your situation. This will also help you avoid the pressure of dealership financing options, which typically will be at a much higher rate. Worried about whether you’ll get approved? At TruChoice, we will listen to your story, and your credit score is not the end all be all. You deserve a reliable vehicle, with an affordable rate, and we can help.

Shop Around  

Research vehicles that you are interested in purchasing, and compare offers between dealerships in your area. Call ahead to ensure that the vehicle is still available before going to view or test drive. Read through customer reviews, and see how people in your area reviewed your local dealerships.  With car values so high right now, you want to take the extra time to make sure the car is worth the asking price – shopping around can help make sure you know your options.

Selling Your Current Vehicle?

Using car valuation tools, such as Kelley Blue Book or NADA can help you understand the estimated values of vehicles you are considering, and can help you determine a fair asking price if you are looking to sell your current vehicle. The used car market is hot right now, and you may receive more money from a private sale, rather than trading in your vehicle at a dealership. This would involve more work, but might be worth your time.  The convenience of a dealership trade in can be appealing, but you are often leaving money on the table that could be used for a down payment! Remember, if you do a private sale of your car, guard against fraud! Ask for cash, or cashier’s checks – and always make sure they clear before you give up the vehicle and title. Craigslist style scams are often seen with private car sales, so if something seems off or wrong, listen to your gut and walk away.

Work with the Financial Institution You Can Trust

At TruChoice we look beyond your credit score, and see a person that deserves a reliable vehicle, with affordable rates, and affordable monthly payments. We understand the costs associated with buying and maintaining a vehicle, and have options to include some of these costs in your loan. We know that life can take unexpected turns, but that does not mean you need to settle for a high rate, a non-reliable vehicle, and poor service. We are here for you every step of the way, and will work with you to build credit, reduce debt, and build the future you deserve.