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Car Buying Tips

Car Buying Tips

Are you in the market for a new vehicle? Do you know the biggest mistakes that shoppers make when searching for a new vehicle? Let’s look at car buying tips to help you get the best deal on a new vehicle.

According to an article at, “Steps to take When Purchasing a New Vehicle”

Step 1: Research Vehicles and Pick the Features You Want
Not sure what car you want yet? The Edmunds app and website have just about all the information you need, including expert and owner reviews. In addition to Edmunds, we’ve also found automakers’ sites useful for seeing more photos and learning more about the features and options on cars. Once you have a short list, it’s time to figure out how you’ll pay for the car.

Step 2: Get Pre-Approved for a Car Loan
A pre-approved car loan starts you on the right foot. You get an idea of how much you can afford and you’ll have an interest rate that you can then compare to the dealership’s financing, which might actually have the lowest annual percentage rate. Look for a loan application on the mobile web pages of your bank, credit union or a third-party lender. It’s a good idea to do your own research on which lender works best for you.

To begin the loan-approval process, have at hand your employer and salary information and balances of other debt you may have. Make sure you will be ready to shop within about two weeks of seeking pre-approval. This will reduce the number of “hard” inquiries to your credit history.

Step 3: Plan Your Trade-In Strategy
You can skip this step if you don’t have a trade-in. If you do, keep reading.

It’s important to get your trade-in value before you go to the dealership. This will help set your expectations for what the car is worth and gives you a reference point for any offers you’ll receive. The best way to get the value of your trade-in is to use the Edmunds app on a smartphone or tablet. Those devices make it easier to sit in the car and double check whether you have options that can affect the car’s value — things like heated seats or a sunroof. Be honest about the condition of your car. Most cars fall into the “clean” or “fair” category. Very few cars are “outstanding,” no matter how much their owners babied them.

When you’re done appraising, you’ll see three figures. The trade-in value is what the dealer may offer you — that’s a figure to keep in mind when you’re at the dealership. The private-party value is what you might expect to get if you sell the car yourself. Dealer retail is a little different: It is what you might expect to pay for the car if you were to buy it at a dealership.

There’s an alternative to trading in a car or selling it yourself: Have used-car retailer CarMax appraise the car and make you an offer. The offer is good for seven days, at which point you can ask the dealership to beat that price or you can sell your car to CarMax.” To read the entire article click here.

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