3 Things to Consider Before Buying a New Car

Buying a new car should be an exciting and memorable experience. But for many people, it’s memorable for all the wrong reasons. Pushy salespeople, and mysterious fees and add-ons can sometimes make a trip to the dealership feel like a necessary evil. And opting to finance through a dealership doesn’t always give you the best car loan interest rate. There are, however, a few things you can do to make the car-buying experience better and more affordable. Here are 3 things to consider before buying a new car.

1. Research Online

Like most everything else, the internet offers a wealth of information about buying cars. From makes and models to dealership ratings and even exact prices on cars and trade-ins, everything you could ever hope to know about the car-shopping experience can be found online. Before stepping foot inside a dealership, spend some time online looking for what you want. Knowledge is power. And when you come to the dealership equipped with knowledge about what you want and exactly how much you’ll pay, the car-buying experience is much more transparent.

2. Check Your Credit

There’s nothing more embarrassing than negotiating every particular of a car sale, only to have the entire deal fall through at the last minute because your loan application got denied. In addition to researching things like trade in value and vehicle pricing, do a little research into your credit history. You can check your credit score and monitor your credit reports for free online. In addition to avoiding unpleasant surprises at the dealership, knowing your credit score can help you gauge your interest rate for financing and correct any errors that may appear on your report.

3. Secure Financing Before Visiting the Dealership

A dealership’s finance center is one of its biggest sources of profit. That’s because dealerships contract with lenders to provide loans and interest rates that will benefit both the lender and the dealership. Instead of waiting until the last minute to finance for your car, compare rates and secure financing on your own before visiting the dealership. You’re more likely to get a better car loan interest rate (and better service) by going through your local credit union than by taking a chance with the lender your dealership chooses for you.

Buying a car doesn’t have to be a bad experience. By doing a little legwork before visiting the dealership, you can avoid the unpleasant surprises, and high fees and interest rates that often accompany the dealership car-buying experience.

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