Remain calm as the process is actually easier than you think! Many lenders can get you pre-approved before you start shopping. You should have some idea as to the type of vehicle you want, your “must haves,” and a budget for what you want to spend.
Most dealerships have an on-line presence, so locating your next vehicle is only a few clicks away. Now you need to decide if you want a new vehicle, certified pre-owned, or a used one. Here are a few pointers to help you with your decision.
Basic warranty is offered from 36 months and up. Dealer incentives such as cash back and a lower APR. Latest and greatest gizmos. Higher fuel efficiency and lower emissions, and we all love that new car smell.
Rigorous manufacturer inspection process nets a higher resale value and usually lower depreciation costs. Normally, a longer warranty is given to these vehicles. “Certified pre-owned” may cost a bit more to purchase.
Usually sold as-is but may include a 30–60 day warranty. Lower price, vehicle has already depreciated some of its value. Lower registrations fees and lower insurance rates.
You can get your vehicle financed through traditional methods, at the dealership, take whatever financing they have to offer. Or, you can join the latest craze and get pre-approved from a bank, credit union, or an online auto finance company.
One major advantage of a pre-approval is, you can shop just like a cash buyer. You can use your pre-approval as an easy way to deflect add-ons and extended warranty offers — that you don’t want. Just say, “I’m preapproved for this amount, and I’m not going to go over it.”
Whatever vehicle you choose, make sure that you are happy with the vehicle, and that it fits within your budget. Try to stay away from higher end vehicles that don’t offer any warranty. The first time these vehicles need repairs, it may be costly. Shop around and don’t rush into anything too quickly. Do your homework.
See you on the road…