Whether you’re buying a new vehicle or a pre-owned vehicle that’s new-to-you, the experience should feel rewarding. Unfortunately, many people find buying a new car to be stressful. Don’t let the negotiation process and fine print prevent you from enjoying your new set of wheels! Consider these tips the next time you’re car shopping.
1. Buy Before You Have to Buy
Try to avoid being forced to buy a new car because your current ride is beyond repair. When your situation seems desperate, you likely won't get the best deal. Begin browsing while your vehicle is in good shape so you can get the most for your trade-in. Note vehicles you're interested in and use the internet to research them more thoroughly. You can use our Car Search Tool
to search for new or used cars at multiple dealerships to make the process even easier.
2. Get Pre-Approved
Getting pre-approved for an auto loan is one of the best things you can do before heading to the dealership. A pre-approval gives you an idea of your buying power. Focus on vehicles within your approved amount to ensure a smooth purchase process. United Heritage Credit Union can often pre-approve you the same day you contact us. A pre-approval from UHCU will give you greater bargaining power and more freedom in your purchasing decisions. Our loan specialists will work with you every step of the way until you sign on the dotted line and drive away happy. Get pre-approved online
or by giving us a call at 512.435.4444.
3. Know What You Want to Buy and Watch for Incentives
Most cars, trucks and SUVs have a range of trim levels, options and accessories. Take time to think about what features are most important to you and your family. Make a list of what you need in a vehicle versus your dream options. Is your family growing, would you like a vehicle that is eco-friendly, do you want better gas mileage or more power? Use your pre-approval amount to determine what you can afford that will best match your wish list. Get a price quote online and then shop around. Don't settle for the first quote you receive and search for manufacturer's rebates that make a good deal even better. You can even use the quoted price from one dealer as a bargaining chip at another.
Many automakers provide incentives in the form of cash back rebates for new vehicle purchases. Some incentives might be worth thousands of dollars off the list price of the vehicle; therefore, use them to your advantage. If you are torn between two similar cars from different manufacturers, an incentive could be the deciding factor.
4. Be Prepared with Your Vehicle Trade-In
In many instances, buyers will trade their old vehicle in for a new one. If you fall in that category, you should know exactly how much your trade-in vehicle is worth prior to going into a dealership or talking to an auto broker. You can find information about your vehicle's trade-in value utilizing used car price guides, such as Kelley Blue Book
or the National Automobile Dealer Association (NADA)
. Generally, these guides will establish a trade-in amount somewhere close to the wholesale value of the vehicle. If the trade-in is in better condition and has lower mileage, it may be worth more. Remember to negotiate the trade-in allowance as well as the new vehicle purchase price.
It's important to be prepared. Consider the new car value and the trade-in as two separate negotiations. If the dealer or auto broker is not willing to take your trade-in at the value you know it is worth, you may want to shop elsewhere or consider selling your vehicle privately instead of trading it in.
5. Be Smart with Additional Add-Ons
Don't simply take the extended coverage offered at the dealership without understanding your alternative options. Compare extended coverage options prior to purchase. At UHCU, we offer Vehicle Service Contracts (VSC), Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP), Credit Life, Involuntary Unemployment Disability and other plan options to meet your specific needs. These plans are normally offered at a lower price point compared to other retail pricing and they are designed to keep your investment protected.
We hope these tips allow you to purchase a vehicle regret-free with a minimal amount of stress. The more prepared you are for buying a new car, the better you will fair. For more information about our auto loans and other related services, visit our Auto Loans page
or call one of our loan specialists at 512.435.4444.