Americans bought more than 17 million new cars and trucks in 2016. If a new set of wheels is in your future, keep these things in mind throughout the process to find a vehicle that meets your needs.
Before You Buy
When You Shop
Closing The Deal
Also known as the “four square” method, this sales tactic combines multiple, unrelated factors into a single transaction. The sales manager writes the price of the car, the down payment, trade-in value and the desired monthly payment into four boxes. If you want a certain trade-in price or a set monthly payment, other numbers may increase to compensate.
Shop your trade-in around multiple dealerships to get an estimate of its true value, and know not to negotiate based on your desired monthly payment.
Inflated Interest Rates
Some car dealerships may advertise a certain interest rate, then make a last-minute change to financing. Secure a car loan through a bank or other outside party and come to the dealership with pre-approval in hand. Know your credit score beforehand so you’re confident about what you can afford, and triple-check all numbers in your paperwork.
Some car buyers have driven a car off the lot without securing financing. This means that a few weeks later, the car dealership could call to say the loan application was rejected and that they need new paperwork–with a higher interest rate or down payment. Never sign a deal or drive away in your new car if you don’t see your interest rate written down.
Used Car Buying Tips
Buying a used or “previously owned” car is a great way to save money and still obtain the transportation you need for work, school, and living.
While there are many legitimate reasons for owners to sell or trade in a used car, some cars may have been in crashes and had extensive repairs, been poorly maintained, or have persistent mechanical problems.
Before you purchase a used vehicle, follow these tips to make sure you don’t end up with someone else’s problem: