Has your car become unreliable, or are you just considering something new? There are many reasons you may be in the market to buy a car…and equally as many ways you could end up overpaying. Consider these 6 ways to save money on your next vehicle as you plan your trip to the dealership:
- Start at the end. The sales staff at your local dealership has quotas to meet, and the pressure is often ramped up at the end of the month or quarter. Your salesperson may be more willing to negotiate if it means making goals. Be sure to do your research and get pre-approved in advance so you can be ready to buy in the last few days of the month (it doesn’t have to be the last day)…even better if that can be at the end of March, June, September, or December.
- Research in advance. Pick 3-5 vehicles you like and think would work well for yourself and/or your family. Go to a site like Kelley Blue Book or NADAguides and research the vehicles you’re interested in, paying particular attention to listed pros/cons and safety features. These sites will also have market value information to inform how much the vehicle will likely cost. Other resources to price compare include Edmunds or TrueCar; use as many free resources as possible to arm yourself with information.
- Don’t advertise your trade-in. The salesperson can use this information against you by not giving you the lowest rate for the vehicle in order to accommodate your trade-in. Negotiate your price down first, then mention you’re trading in a vehicle.
- Consider going out of town. Auto prices vary from dealer to dealer, so you may get a better deal in the next town or zip code over. Don’t just stick with one dealership – make a day of it and get information from several.
- Avoid the added protection options. Extended warranty and GAP options at the dealership are often overpriced. Pass on them during the car-buying process and get them through your credit union instead at a more competitive rate.
- Don’t take the dealer financing…get pre-approved. Don’t head to the dealership in impulse, come to R-G first. We can quickly and easily pre-approve you for an auto loan to give you the car-buying power of cash. Not only will you be able to shop knowing exactly what you can afford without being financially strapped in the future, but you’ll also likely pay less for your car. Finance managers can take advantage of you by marking up the interest rate paid through dealer financing. Your credit union, on the other hand, will give you the most competitive interest rates available. Just a couple points difference in interest rate can save you hundreds of dollars in interest!
For a limited-time, we’re giving members retro auto loan rates as low as 1.99% APR!* Our team is happy to guide you through the car-buying process and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today for more information on our auto loans, or get pre-approved by applying online.