Recently, my 2004 Maxima transmission started having major issues. So, I had to give old Maxi up. (I’m not crying; you’re crying.) And then, the dreaded car search began. I don’t know about you, but searching for a new car is not something I have been looking forward to. Also, going to car dealerships unarmed will cause ALL the angry emoji faces. Let’s dig into this topic a little more and talk about the myths of car buying.
I should go to the dealership first. No. Nope. Sorry, but no. Incorrect. I don’t know if there are any other ways to say it; do NOT go to the car dealer first. If you are financing your vehicle, they are paid bonuses based on who you are financing your vehicle with. Do yourself a big favor and do your research before you walk through those big, fancy dealership doors. What is your budget? What kind of vehicle fits into that budget? How much are you putting down? Where can you find your best rate? At ēCO Credit Union, members are encouraged to call or come into a branch to find out our rates first. We hope that your financial institution encourages you to do the same.
A lower price/payment means a better deal. When you are considering financing a vehicle, you need to consider the whole picture; consider how much you will be paying back in total at the end. We all want to pay off our auto loan quicker than scheduled, but life happens and that isn’t always possible. So, let’s say you will be stuck with what you sign up for. Don’t settle for a 7% interest rate just because your payments will be below your budget each month. What if you could pay $50-$100 more a month with a lower interest rate and pay back THOUSANDS less over your term?
A used car that is less than four years old is a waste of money. Like I mentioned above, a car’s value depreciates the most in the first four years of its life. However, there are some variables to consider. If you are going to a dealership, look online first to see the cars that are within in your budget and compare. Personally, I did this a month ago and came out on top. I drove about 45 minutes away to a college town; the school’s rival team has blue in their school colors. I was able to buy a 2017 car in blue for the same price as a 2013 model in any other color. Now, I can drive to any other town, and it would be worth more when I am ready to sell. Make sure to research online inventory. Don’t be afraid to ask your car salesman questions about these variables; you will be glad you did (drives away waving in blue car).
Are you in the market to buy a car? We are offering a free seminar next Thursday, April 5 at the Gardendale Civic Center and would love to see you there! We will be discussing auto buying and home buying. All we ask is that you register here, as we will be providing dinner. (Make sure to check off the last choice if you plan to attend.) We hope to see you there! And, stay tuned for April as we will be celebrating Financial Literacy Month.
Written by: Georgia Hux
Georgia is the Marketing Coordinator at ēCO Credit Union. She loves spending time with her husband Aaron, playing with her dog Tuff, and trying to make her house look like Chip & Jo stopped by to help.